Arif Alvi, BDS, MS, MSD, isn’t just the newly elected leader of Pakistan. He’s also an orthodontist. On September 4, the member of the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry class of 1984 defeated Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazl ur Rehman to become the country’s thirteenth president. He is one of the founding members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ruling party and an ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Alvi also is a past president of the Pakistan Dental Association and the primary author of its constitution. He started his political career about five decades ago when he was a student at the de’Montmonrency College of Dentistry, an affiliate of the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. He obtained his master of science degree in prosthodontics from the University of Michigan in 1975.
“This is an inspiring example of how leadership can take many forms and can even propel us into new fields of service beyond healthcare,” said Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, EdD, MBA, dean of the Dugoni School. “Dr. Alvi has served as a leader in the profession and in his country for many years, and it is exciting to see him demonstrate one of our school’s core values of leadership in this new way.”
Dentistry runs in Alvi’s family. His father, Dr. Habib ur Rehman Elahi Alvi, was a dentist to India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, prior to Partition in 1947. The family then moved to the newly formed nation of Pakistan. Now, Alvi practices with his daughter, Radhia Alvi Sumar, BDS, a general dentist who focuses on pediatrics.