Al-Rafaie Honored with First-Ever Gulf Cooperation Council Award of Excellence

Posted in GUMC Stories

DEC. 19, 2015 — Waddah B. Al-Refaie, MD, FACS, the John S. Dillon Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and surgeon in chief at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently recognized in Doha, Qatar, as one of the winners of the first-ever Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Awards of Excellence.

Offered by the GCC Supreme Council, the awards honor researchers and scholars from the GCC member countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates – who have made outstanding achievements in science, medicine, literature, business, politics, economics, security and philanthropy.

Each GCC member state may nominate scholars for a prize. The nominations are then reviewed by the GCC secretariat and the secretariat of the competition, who draft a list of finalists. The GCC ministerial and the GCC Supreme Court determine the final list of winners. The awards will be given once every five years during a ceremony held by the leader of the GCC Supreme Council session host country.

Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, presided over the awards ceremony on Dec. 7 and praised the awardees for bringing honor to the citizens of the GCC member states. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, PhD, GCC secretary general, also praised the award winners and thanked the Emir for presiding over the ceremony and the GCC for starting the awards program. After the ceremony, the awardees were honored at a luncheon banquet hosted by Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar.

Al-Refaie was one of only three awardees recognized for his achievements in medicine and one of nine awardees from Kuwait. Other Kuwaiti awardees included a former GCC secretary general, an astronomer, a judge, an Olympian and a media personality. Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, congratulated Al-Refaie on winning the award and wished him continued success.

In May, Al-Refaie was officially installed (new window) as the John S. Dillon Chair in Surgical Oncology following a rigorous search process. Al-Refaie came to Georgetown from the University of Minnesota where he secured funding for research on surgical outcomes, work that he continues today as director of MedStar Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center.

Kat Zambon
GUMC Communications