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Elizabeth Yaw is changing the world one step at a time. Yaw is the daughter of Carole and the late Larry Yaw. Elizabeth grew up in Chrisman and spent the majority of her life here.
After graduating high school, Yaw attended Saint Mary of the Woods and graduated in 1992 with an undergraduate degree in Accounting.
“When I learned last summer they were starting a Doctoral Program in Global Leadership, I knew it was for me as it is a virtual program,” Yaw told us. “I enjoy connecting with many familiar faces such as a few of my former professors.”
Elizabeth isn’t the only one in her family that has been to Saint Mary’s. Her mother, Dr. Dorothy Carole Yaw graduated from St. Mary’s and her sister, Elaine, is a graduate as well as an Associate Professor.
In addition to her Bachelors in Accounting, Elizabeth also has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Illinois, leading to a career focus of Healthcare Information Technology.
Eight years ago, Elizabeth made the move to Doha, Qatar, where her husband is originally from. The couple have one son, Nasser, who is a Freshman at Carnegie Mellon University.
“I do live in Doha a majority of the time, but I come back to Chrisman throughout the year.”
In August 2021, Yaw launched a new program aimed toward global leadership. “This innovative program is delivered in an immersive virtual format that is geared towards busy professionals. There are many opportunities for cross-cultural engagements including traveling abroad opportunities,” Yaw said. “In fact, I am currently developing a travel abroad program for Qatar. The doctoral program in global leadership is very important as our world is connected, it is important to have a global mindset, especially as leaders.”
In addition to heading this program, Yaw is currently the President of the American Women’s Association of Qatar, Event Director for the Qatar Professional Women’s Network, American Community Leader of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, FIFA Volunteer, American Liaison Representative for the US Embassy, and Person Centered Care Ambassador for Hamad Medicine in Qatar. “I am also a Doctoral Assistant at Saint Mary of the Woods College, so I stay very busy.”
The Qatar Professional Women’s Network was started twelve years ago to bring professional women together in Qatar.
“QPWN is committed to encouraging women in Qatar to achieve success on their own terms,” Yaw told us. “We strive to provide regular and tailored opportunities for women of all professions and cultures to connect and support each other.”
Yaw is a big supporter of women empowering women in any way she can. Recently, Yaw attended ‘Break the Bias’, an International Women’s Day Campaign from the United Nations. “I am so happy to see so many organizations and countries participating and advocating for women.”
Through her Doctoral Program in Global Leadership, Yaw is able to tackle numerous problems many people are facing. The Global Program teaches people to have a Global mindset to be able to tackle problems from more than one perspective.
For example, in one of the classes, they read ‘The Culture Map’ by Erin Meyer, which helps the class understand and navigate through cultural differences. “Most people do not realize it, but Qatar is made up of ninety percent expatriates,” Yaw said. “Being able to understand other cultures is very important in this environment.”
Qatar will be hosting the World Cup in November of 2022. This is the first time that an Arab county is hosting. “We are currently very busy preparing and I am excited that the USA will be one of the teams,” Elizabeth said. “I participated in the US Flag raising ceremony with the US Embassy the last week of March.”
Qatar is a far cry from the small farm town that she grew up in, but Yaw is enjoying her life. “Qatar is steeped in tradition. You can learn about the ancient pursuit of falconry, watch camels race across the desert and admire traditional dhows (wooden cargo boats) bobbing on the water,” Elizabeth said.
The country is developing rapidly with the capital Doha a world class city in the making, thanks to its spectacular modern skyline, peerless Museum of Islamic Art, a fine example of traditional souq and burgeoning arts and culinary scenes.
“On any given day, you could sample a portfolio of sophisticated restaurants and then watch the sun set over sand dunes that seem to spring from a fairy tale.”