Born in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan on December 10th 1951, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor has come a long way from her home in the suburbs and her secondary schooling at the Tunku Kurshiah College, a prestigious boarding school for bright Malay girls in Malaysia.
After completing her tertiary and higher education at University Malaya and Louisiana State University in 1974 and 1978 respectively, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor returned to launch her corporate career, putting to good use her Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Anthropology and her Masters degree in Sociology and Agriculture Extension. She served at Agriculture Bank Malaysia until 1983, and then took on the position of Business Development Manager at Island and Peninsular Berhad where she served until 1987.
Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor left Island and Peninsular to become a full time politician's wife to Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Hj Abd Razak, knowing that the demands of her husband's work dictates that she gives her home and family life as much care and attention as possible. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor was also keenly aware that she would have to gradually take on more public roles as she continued to give pivotal support to her husband's political rise.
Today, as the wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor wears many hats. She is the President of the Welfare Association of Minister's Wives (BAKTI). She holds the position of Patron for various associations, among others are Children in Hope Foundation, Malaysian Nature Society, Society of the Orthopedically Handicapped Malaysia, Malaysia Aids Council, National Heart Institute Foundation, Thalasemia Association, National Athletes' Welfare Association, the Foundation for the Development of Underprivileged Children and many more. She is also on the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) as their patron, as well as the President of the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia.
Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor strongly believes that human capital development begins with children and it is an important investment for the nation. This will lay a firm foundation for national growth, productivity, social cohesion and peace. She has thus been active in driving this initiative through the PERMATA programmes starting with nationwide establishment of early childhood education and care centres or Permata Negara that focuses on children below 5 years. Through her effort, to date, more than 650 Permata Negara Centers have been set up throughout the country.
This programme has since been widened to the intellectually gifted children under the banner of PERMATA Pintar, aimed at providing appropriate enriched learning environment to challenge them to the fullest potential. This programme offers two approaches, the annual school camp for children aged 9-15 and a school for gifted children aged 16-17 at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). As for PERMATA Seni, the objective is to further refine the talents of children in performing arts i.e: music, choir and dance. Whilst for PERMATA Insan, the gifted children are provided with an early exposure to the understanding of a-Quran and as-Sunnah in order to groom them to be future Islamic intellectuals.
As a means to reach out to the youth especially those at risk she initiated the Perkasa Remaja via camp intervention and Community based programmes. These two programmes are aimed at empowering youth to be into the mainstream development.
She is now embarking on two new projects; the PEMATA Kurnia, a programme for children with autism and Children Specialist Hospital. Both projects are in the process of implementation.
Other than her involvement in the welfare of children, she is also passionate in advancing women related issues, such as empowerment of women, gender equality and uplifting the economic status of women. She has been invited on numerous occasions to speak on these issues at conferences both locally and internationally.
In recognition for her many contribution to the country and its people, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor has been conferred various high awards from the States of Pahang, Kedah, Melaka, Selangor, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak. She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate in Education by University Technology MARA Malaysia, the Honorary Doctorate of Innovation in Human Capacity Development by Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and the Honorary Doctorate in Early Childhood Education by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). Her contribution was also acknowledged internationally with the award for Social Responsibility from the city of Ankara, Turkey. She was also conferred with the Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Australia's Curtin University and Professorship by the International Information Technology University, Kazakhstan.