Santa Clara University Alumnus Omar Hamade ’19 Named Schwarzman Scholar

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--Santa Clara University alumnus Omar Hamade ’19 has been named one of 154 Schwarzman Scholars, a prestigious program sometimes referred to as the “Chinese Rhodes.” Hamade, Santa Clara’s second Schwarzman winner, will pursue a one-year master's degree and leadership program at Tsinghua University in Beijing starting next year.

Hamade graduated summa cum laude from Santa Clara University in three years with a degree in biology, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honors society as a junior. He currently works at Genentech, where he provides financial oversight and strategic analysis to increase access of Roche’s medicines to more than 120 million patients worldwide.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected as part of the Schwarzman Scholars’ sixth cohort,” says Hamade, who hopes to learn from China’s “Healthy China 2030” strategy and investigate how the U.S. and China can be partners in global health efforts. “The Schwarzman program is an exciting opportunity to gain an intimate understanding of China and its role in the world, engage with global leaders on the most pressing challenges of our generation, and most importantly, be surrounded by fellow Scholars from a range of backgrounds and experiences, all of whom have the potential to shape the future,” Hamade says.

Born to Syrian and Palestinian refugee immigrant parents, Hamade grew up in Santa Clara. Transforming healthcare for the underprivileged has been a long-time driving passion. As a junior at SCU, he co-founded a community health clinic in San Jose that garnered $200,000 in grants to support 20 doctors. As a teenager, he was inspired after a visit to his family’s former home in Lebanon to launch a public health study that aimed to evaluate cancer awareness and barriers to medical treatment among Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens. Hamade and his academic partners have co-authored an article on their work in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cancer Education.

At SCU, Hamade was known as an exceptionally bright and insightful student, a “big picture thinker,” and a natural leader.

“A lot of people can say ‘this is what I want to do,’” said SCU biology Professor Brian Bayless, who taught Hamade cell biology in his final year at SCU. “Omar would say, ‘here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I’m going to do it’... He is going to do really, really great things.”

While studying at SCU, Hamade interned at Stanford University School of Medicine and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. As a sophomore, he started a free science and math tutoring program for more than 200 low-income middle schoolers.

“Omar is a brilliant scholar and an exemplary and natural leader who is driven by compassion to lift up neglected and disadvantaged populations by his passion for justice and holistic equity,” wrote SCU Office of Fellowships Director Naomi Levy and English lecturer Stephen Carroll in a recent recommendation letter.

This year’s class of 154 Schwarzman Scholars was selected from more than 3,600 applicants, with students from 39 countries and 99 universities.

About Schwarzman Scholars

Founded in 2016, the Schwarzman Scholars program—named after Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman—was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship and is designed to prepare future global leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. Learn more at

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see


Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121

Release Summary

Santa Clara University alumnus Omar Hamade ’19 has been named one of 154 Schwarzman Scholars.


Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121