Health Policy + Refugee/Immigrant Health Speakers

Padma Swamy, MD, MPH

Baylor College of Medicine

Twitter: @padmaglohealth

Dr. Swamy attended medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TX and completed her pediatric residency at Baylor College of Medicine. As a Global Child Health resident, she worked at the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative in eSwatini for one year. Following completion of residency she graduated from Academic General Pediatrics fellowship with a global health focus at Baylor College of Medicine. Since then Dr. Swamy has been working as a pediatrician on the Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program. Her clinical interests include providing care for underresourced populations, and her research interests include immigrant health, social needs screening, and medical education.


Mary Dahdouh, JD

International Refugee Assistance Project

Mary Dahdouh is a Staff Attorney with the International Refugee Assistance Project, a non-governmental organization that employs direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. In this role, Mary provides direct legal representation to clients seeking resettlement to and immigration relief in the United States through a number of U.S.-based and international immigration processes. As an immigrants’ rights advocate, Mary’s work is deeply impacted by global health issues ranging from access to healthcare for displaced communities, global pandemics and the movement of people, health-related grounds of inadmissibility for entrance into the U.S., and climate change. Prior to joining IRAP, Mary received her Juris Doctor from the University of California – Berkeley School of Law, where she focused on international human rights and refugee law. During law school, Mary worked on a global advocacy movement for gender parity in international courts and tribunals with the Berkeley Law International Human Rights Law Clinic and was a contributing writer for IntLawGrrls, an online platform that gives voice to women scholars, lawyers, and leaders on issues related to international law. She also worked with the Middle East & North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, the Center for Justice & Accountability, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California. In addition to her J.D., Mary holds a B.A. in journalism, English literature, and political philosophy from the University of Houston. She is a member of the New York bar.


Aisha Siddiqui, DrPH

Culture of Health-Advancing Together (CHAT)

Facebook: @chatcultureofhealth

Instagram: @chat_tx

Dr. Aisha Siddiqui, Dr.PH, is a graduate of University of Texas, School of Public Health (UTSPH). She earned her doctorate in Management, Policy, and Community Health. She moved to Houston with her husband and two little children, in 1989. As an immigrant woman, she faced many challenges. From navigating the streets of a new city to finding a job, adjusting to an unfamiliar country was an uphill climb. This land of opportunity was incredible, yet daunting. She encountered caring people who were willing to help her adjust to a new life and knew that she, in turn, had to give back and help those who were not as fortunate. Dr. Siddiqui re-started her education in 1999 with a Masters in Public Health, while working as a research assistant at the University of Texas – Dental Branch. After graduating, she started working as an Epidemiologist at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services. Siddiqui was always passionate about education and health promotion in under-served communities. Her work at the Health Department involved working with the underprivileged population of Houston, which strengthened her determination to serve the disadvantaged. When she was at UT’s School of Public Health, Siddiqui wanted to incorporate her background with her interests in public health. While working on her doctoral degree, she sought out South Asian women to better understand the challenges they faced in staying healthy. Documenting their stories allowed her to complete her studies, but she knew she couldn’t stop there. In 2015, Dr. Siddiqui founded Culture of Health-Advancing Together (CHAT), a non-profit organization, with a mission to foster the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee communities through the education, arts, advocacy and access to care. Her vision is to build a healthy community that is self-sufficient and meets the everyday challenges of living in a diverse society. In her free time Dr. Siddiqui loves to spend time with her family and friends. She is an avid traveler and loves to explore diverse cultures and cuisines.


Michelle Belco, JD

More details coming soon