NOMINEE: Dr. Aleny Couto

INNOVATOR: Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr
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Aleny Cuoto Photo Illustration by Gluekit

Dr. Aleny Couto has led efforts to curb Mozambique's AIDS/HIV epidemic for six years and has another decade of experience as a clinician. Couto is in charge of designing public health policies and strategies that follow guidelines of the World Health Organization in a country where HIV/AIDS affects roughly 13 percent of the population.

Mozambique, a largely rural country in southern Africa, has limited infrastructure, the crushing legacy of a 15-year civil war that ended in the 1990s and left the country's health care system devastated. There's also a serious physician shortage—it's estimated there are only two or three physicians per 100,000 people in the country.

With incredibly limited resources, Couto has found innovative ways to attack the epidemic, such as training pharmacists in small towns to do HIV testing, so pharmacies can take on the role of a health care clinic when there isn't one nearby.

“The complexities of trying to do an effective response in Mozambique is quite difficult,” says El-Sadr. “I'm always impressed by Dr. Couto's unbelievable level of commitment and how she has this tiny staff she's able to motivate. She's not a leader from above; she's a hands-on person.”

INNOVATOR: Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr

Since 2003, Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University, has been the forefront of fighting the worldwide AIDS epidemic. The Egyptian-born physician, a former MacArthur fellow, is the founding director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs directs large-scale public health programs in 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Dr Wafaa El-Sadr attends the Essence Magazine 40th Anniversary Fierce & Fabulous Awards Luncheon at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on September 13, 2010 in New York City. Photo Illustration by Gluekit; Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/WireImage/Getty

About Women of the Future

Newsweek asked 20 prominent women to each nominate an up-and-comer they believe will be a trailblazer for the next generation. The only requirement was that each nominee inspire the leader, and the world. As they say, it takes one to know one.

Check the other nominees in our special Women of the Future.