Dear Friends of EWH,

You may remember that in February we mentioned we had begun to search for a new CEO. We are happy to announce today that the Board of Directors of Engineering World Health has named Tojan Rahhal, Ph.D., as our next President and CEO. Dr. Rahhal comes to EWH from the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she most recently served as the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Initiatives and as Adjunct Assistant


Professor of Biomedical, Biological, and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering.

She will succeed the retiring Dr. Leslie Calman, who has served as President and CEO since 2013. 

“We believe Tojan Rahhal has the skills, energy, and passion needed to lead Engineering World Health,” said Dr. Michael P. Tracey, Chair of EWH’s board and a Vice President of Ethicon, a Johnson and Johnson company. “After a thorough search and a review of several highly qualified candidates, we are convinced that Dr. Rahhal will lead EWH forward with exceptional vision and know-how about engineering and about international learning.”

At MU, Dr. Rahhal drove the creation of the College of Engineering’s Inclusivity Center and its robust program offerings. Among many other initiatives, she spearheaded the highly successful STEM Cubs camp program and the annual Diverse Engineering Professionals Conference. She was recognized with the 2020 MU Study Abroad Teaching Excellence award for the creation of a unique curriculum combining diversity and inclusion in engineering. She was also selected as a National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA) Women of Color History Maker in Diversity for her leadership in efforts to “catalyze change to help engineering students from underrepresented populations overcome historic barriers.”


“I am thrilled to have been chosen as the new CEO of an organization that combines my passion for expanding the scope of engineering education and developing a new generation of global leaders in the field,” said Dr. Rahhal.

Tojan Rahhal earned a Biomedical Engineering degree from North Carolina State University with a focus on tissue engineering and biotechnology. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working in the lab of Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone. Her research focused on nanotechnology and translational medicine. She developed micro- and nanoparticle therapeutics for pulmonary delivery using the PRINT® fabrication technique. Dr. Rahhal has continuously demonstrated a commitment to service and leadership in the academic community while always promoting awareness of issues regarding equality in science. 

Born and raised in North Carolina, Dr. Rahhal is excited that she will taking on her new responsibilities in familiar surroundings. She will be based at EWH’s headquarters in Durham.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Dr. Rahhal as we begin this new chapter in our work to inspire, educate, and empower the biomedical engineering community!