The Rector is the principal academic and administrative officer of IIUM and chair of the Senate. In general, the Rector is responsible for maintaining and promoting the professional excellence, academic quality, and, vision and mission of the University.

Prof. Dato’Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamarudin obtained her LL.B (Hons) from University Malaya in 1985, Master’s Degree in Comparative Laws and Advanced Diploma in Sharia Law and Practice from the International Islamic University Malaysia, and her PhD in Comparative Laws at UCL, London University in 1994. She was admitted as Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 1986. She has served the International Islamic University Malaysia for more than 28 years in various capacities. Before her appointment as the Rector of IIUM she was the Dean of the Ahmad Ibrahim Faculty of Laws, Dean of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, and then Deputy Director-General of the Malaysian Institute of Islamic Understanding.

Prof. Zaleha is a member of the Fatwa Committee for the State of Pahang and Selangor. Since 2003, she has been a member of the Selangor Council of Religious Affairs (MAIS).  At the Federal level, she is a member of the Technical Committee on Sharia and Civil Laws, Department of Islamic Religious Affairs, Prime Minister’s Department and serves as an appointed member in the National Religious Council. She was also appointed as a member of the Malaysian Investigating Tribunal Panel, Advocates and Solicitors’Disciplinary Board. As an expert in Family Law, she was appointed by the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development to be a council member of the National Women Advisory Council and also the Technical Committee for the NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women. In 2010, she was appointed to chair the Panel on Current Issues on Women and Islam, Department of Islamic Development. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Malaysia Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM).

Internationally, she is a leading authority on comparative family laws and a well respected figure amongst the legal fraternity. She was invited to join the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA) in 2007 and listed in “Who’s Who”database in law and religion by the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) based in Milan, Italy. She was appointed as member of the Board of Governors for the Asian Law Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) which was formed to facilitate collaboration and encourage excellence in research and teaching in Asian law (2005-2009).  As a model of excellence in research, she was awarded twice in 2004 and 2005 by IIUM the Excellent Researcher Award (Faculty Level) and subsequently her team won the Excellent Research Award (Faculty Level) in 2008 for their effort in documenting the development of Family Law and Succession Law in Malaysia for Kluwer Law International, an international publisher based in the Netherlands. She has published twenty books, and more than two hundred articles in areas related to family law, children’s rights, and women’s rights.

She serves as external examiner for doctoral theses and promotion for almost all established law schools in Malaysia as well as Aligarh University, India and IIU Islamabad, Pakistan.  She is also a panel member for the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (Law Programmes), Ministry of Higher Education and a member of Governance and Law Cluster under the National Council of Professors. She has been appointed as a visiting professor at Islamic University of Rotterdam in 2013 and was also invited to give keynote addresses in the past two years in various conferences including at the University of Osnabruck, Germany, Khadijah conference, Stockholm, Sweden, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka. She is actively involved in UN Habitat training programmes including the recent programmes in both Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Cairo, Egypt. She was the Chief Editor of Tafhim: IKIM’s Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World, member of the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Muslim Unity (IIUM), and the Journal of Governance and Law (UUM), Chairperson of the Editorial Board of the IIUM Law Journal, member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Economic, Social and Global Studies, International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Member of the International Advisers for the Journal of Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University, Brunei and Journal of Sharia and Law, Islamabad (IIUI).

She has also collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development in 2008 on a major consultancy project entitled “Towards Achieving 30 Percent Women as Decision-Makers (Judiciary-Civil and Shari’ah).”Her research served as an impetus for the historical appointment of women judges in the Sharia judiciary in Malaysia.  In 2005, she headed a major consultancy project on “Assessing Delays in Disposition of Matrimonial Cases in the Malaysian Shariah Courts”followed by “Assessing Delays in Implementation of Maintenance Orders in the Malaysian Shariah Courts”. These researches provided a strong basis for the setting up of the Family Support Authority in Malaysia. In 2009, she was invited to present a paper at the House of Lords, UK. She is also an executive director of Salamworld, an alternative global social network based in Istanbul, and a member of the Wise Persons Board, under the Think Tank Forum of the OIC Countries. In 2012, she delivered the 13th Al-Sanhuri Annual Lecture at Harvard Law School, speaking on the transformation of the Islamic legal system in the 21st century. In May 2012, she delivered a keynote speech at a High-Level Thematic Debate at the UN headquarters in New York.

She is the first female rector at the International Islamic University Malaysia and is also the first woman to be appointed to head an islamic university in the muslim world.

Year Completed Research
2017 Zaleha Kamarudin, Indeks Syariah Malaysia (Law),
Zaleha Kamarudin, Psychosocial & Legal Protection of Women & Children in Conflicts Zones,
Zaleha Kamarudin, Renanscence of Muslim Future Thinkers: Vision TN50 of Malaysia, Ministry of Youth &
Sports Malaysia,
Zaleha Kamarudin, Malaysia’s Accession to the Hague Children’s Convention: The Feasibility Analysis, Attorney General Chambers.
2016 Zaleha Kamarudin, Indeks Syariah Malaysia (Law)
2015 Zaleha Kamarudin, Pembangunan Pelaksanaan Indeks Syariah Dalam Pentadbiran Negara
2013 Zaleha Kamarudin, The Conflicts of Child Custody in Malaysia: Sole Custody in Malaysia: Sole Custody V Joint Custody,
Zaleha Kamarudin, Islamic Family Law: Demystifying Shari’ah in the Protection of Children rights Volume III,
Zaleha Kamarudin, The Formulation of an Online Dispute Management Framework and the Implementation of E-family Expert Portal in Malaysia

Year Published books & articles
2017 Zaleha Kamaruddin (ed.), Empowering Muslim Women through Property Rights, (In progress).,
Zaleha Kamarudin (ed.), Umara’ dan Ulama, Tonggak Kekuatan Ummah,
Kedah, (In press)
2016 Zaleha Kamaruddin (ed.),Demystifying Shariah in the Protection of Muslim Children, Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press (In Press),
Zaleha Kamaruddin and Abdul Rashid Moten (eds.), Muslim Women Promoting Peace, Kuala Lumpur, IIUM Press.
2014 Zaleha Kamarudin and Abdul Halim Taib (eds.), Tokoh-tokoh Ulama’ Pahang, Kerajaan Negeri Pahang dan IIUM
2013 Syed Khalid Rashid, Zaleha Kamaruddin and Hunud Abia Kadouf, Legal Education in Malaysia with Special Reference to IIUM, Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press,
Zaleha Kamaruddin and Abdul Rashid Moten (eds.), IIUM – The Premier Global Islamic University.,Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press.