Samara Mbugua '06 serves as a leader, advocate, and mentor for global health issues. She was recently named as the first President of the inaugural NYU School of Global Public Health (GPH) Alumni Board.
Samara Mbugua '06 – Global Health Analyst, Advocate, Mentor… and Raider for Life
As a Global Health Analyst at Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), Samara Mbugua '06 is responsible for supporting, planning, and implementing partnerships that address critical health issues around the world.
Samara collaborates regularly with ministries of health, international health organizations, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and hospitals to improve access to care and patient outcomes regarding infection control, patient safety, antimicrobial resistance, and quality.
“Our efforts have resulted in global advocacy campaigns on sharps safety and HIV/AIDS, healthcare worker trainings, strengthened laboratory systems, and increased access to quality diagnostic services among other milestones,” said Samara.
It’s an important - and busy - profession, yet Samara finds time to serve as President of the inaugural NYU School of Global Public Health (GPH) Alumni Board, leading a team of eight board members in creating professional development and relationship-building opportunities for the GPH alumni body, current students, and campus as a whole.
Samara earned her Master of Public Health degree from New York University, after graduating with a B.S. in Health Science from Boston University in 2010.
The Importance of Mentoring
Samara is a strong-believer in the power of a mentor-mentee relationship. She recently participated in the Central Catholic's Career Exploration Series, which introduces CCHS students to a variety of career options.
“Mentorship is so crucial for developing leaders. I rely on my mentor to brainstorm ideas with and set goals for my career. She holds me accountable and encourages me to take risks and think outside the box. Both parties are learning and growing from the experience - this mutual growth should encourage young leaders to reach out to potential mentors for guidance and support.”
Though now a New Jersey resident, this Lawrence native is a proud first-generation American born to African immigrants, raised in a single parent household.
“My success is not just my own, it symbolizes much more for my family throughout the U.S. and abroad. Representation matters. I know that when I excel, I can empower future generations who look like me to do the same.”
The Lessons of Central Catholic - Academics, Athletics, Leadership, & Service
In addition to her strong familial ties, Samara relies on the life lessons learned while a student at Central Catholic, where she excelled academically and played basketball, softball, track, and volleyball – a sport she continues to play.
“I received a quality education that readied me for success in college and beyond. Central’s rigorous coursework challenged and prepared me, while its supportive environment created opportunities to seek out help if needed,” said Samara. “Central also instilled in me a commitment to service. I volunteered at Lazarus House, participated in community cleanups, and served as Secretary of Student Council among other service activities.”
Today, Samara remains committed to service and has volunteered throughout the U.S. and abroad in Haiti, Kenya, and Thailand.
Always the mentor, Samara’s advice for current CCHS students and recent grads is simple: keep exploring, keep asking questions, keep learning, and don’t rush.
“Take your time discovering what motivates you and why,” said Samara. “Having purpose behind what you do makes your career that much more rewarding for you professionally and personally."
Congratulations, Samara - we are proud to see your leadership and the impact you are making on critical global health issues affecting the world!