Hon. Mereseini Rakuita, Principal Strategic Lead – Pacific Women, The Pacific Community
Board Chair

Mereseini Rakuita is a visionary champion of gender equality and women’s rights in Fiji and the Asia-Pacific region.

She was the youngest female politician tobe elected to parliament in 2014 and was subsequently appointed as the first female Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources (2014-2016). She has previously servedas Acting Permanent Secretary for Justice and Anti-corruption with oversight of operations  in  the  Elections  Office (2012-2013), a State Solicitor (2009-2013) - the highest ranked female legal advisor to the Government and Chairperson of theTelecommunications Authority of Fiji (2008), being the first and youngest Fijian woman in all these roles during tenure.

During her tenure as Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, she introduced and rolled out a number of inclusive and gender-sensitive policy and legal reforms.

She was keen to go about these reforms with a whole of government, whole of population, evidence-based and transformative approach to drive forward achieving gender equality at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Those include the roll out of a whole of population consultation for the development of Fiji’s National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against All Women and Girls which is cited as a best exemplar globally-; the introduction of Transformative Gender Mainstreaming Institutional Capacity Development across government with a focus on gender-responsive budgeting as well as strategic investment in gender statistics.

In 2019, she was elected as Chair of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing Platform for Action + 25 review.

Ms. Rakuita holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania, in Australia. She was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory in 1997 and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji and Commissioner for Oaths of the High Court of Fiji in 1998.

Ms. Rakuita was born on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji and has three children.




Country Government Seats


Mrs. Roli Singh, Additional Secretary & Mission Director (AS&MD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare  
Board Member, India

Mrs. Roli Singh is presently Additional Secretary & Mission Director – National Health Mission in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Alumnus of Welham Girls School and Lady Sriram College, from where she graduated in History, Mrs. Singh holds Master’s Degree in Public Management and Governance from the London School of Economics.  She belongs to the 1994 batch of the IAS, Rajasthan Cadre.

In her vast career spanning almost 28 years in the Civil Services, she has worked across various sectors including Health, Medical Education, Women and Child Welfare.  Besides, she has held important positions in the Department of Personnel & Training, the HR and capacity building wing of the Government, both at the State and the Central Government at the middle and higher management levels.  She has also held faculty position at the premier Civil Services Training Institution, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration – Mussoorie.  Her area of interests includes Public Service Delivery and the Regulatory institutional architecture.  She is also an avid reader and enjoys gardening.


Dr. Ben Moulaye Idriss, Directeur, Division de la santé sexuelle et reproductive, Ministère de la Santé et des Affaires Sociales 
Board Member, Mali

Dr Ben Moulaye est le Directeur général de la Direction générale de la Santé de la Reproduction (Office national de la santé de la Reproduction du Mali), Médecin de formation, il est spécialiste en Santé publique et gestion et suivi évaluation des programmes de santé. Il possède une solide expérience de plus de 15ans et une expertise confirmée dans la gestion des programmes de santé de la reproduction. Ainsi depuis 2004 il a assuré successivement la coordination de nombreux projets en SR/VIH dont le projet SR Ado et jeune du Ministère la jeunesse, Directeur pays d’ONG Internationales au Mali et au Bénin et  conseiller technique au Ministère de la jeunesse, de la Défense et de la santé au Mali.


Dr. Boladale Alonge, Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health
Board Member, Nigeria



Dr. Charles Olaro, Director of Health Services, Ministry of Health
Board Member, Uganda

Dr. Olaro Charles is the Director Curative Services at the Ministry of Health, Uganda since April 2017. He is the Chair FP2030 Country Focal Points.  He holds MBChB and MMed Surgery from Makerere University. He also holds Master of Science in Health Services Management, Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi and Master of Business Administration, Eastern and Southern African Management Institute.

Dr Olaro has over 27 years of experience working in the public and private sector, working within Health services as Medical officer, Medical Officer Special Grade Surgery, Consultant Surgery, Medical Superintendent, Senior consultant Surgery and Hospital Director.  He heads the continuity of Essential Services Pillar in context of COVID-19.


CSO, NGO & Youth Seats


Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa
Board Member, Center for Reproductive Rights (Kenya)

Evelyne Opondo is a human rights, law, SRHR and gender expert with twenty years of experience. She is currently the Senior Regional Director for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights based in Nairobi, Kenya. In this role, she is responsible and accountable for developing, communicating, executing strategies, and mobilizing resources to ensure successful delivery and sustainability of the mandate of the Center in Africa.  Prior to joining the Center for Reproductive Rights, she served as the Regional Policy Associate for Ipas, a global SRHR organization, where she focused on regional norm building working closely with the regional human rights mechanisms and partnering with both government and non-government organizations across a number of African countries to contribute to health systems strengthening. From 2004- 2010, she worked for the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya, a premier women’s right organization where she handled strategic litigation and advocacy on a broad range of women rights issues and held a series of progressively responsible positions. Ms. Opondo began her career in 2001 as a State Law Officer in the Office of the Attorney General of Kenya working mostly with poor and vulnerable women in the administration of estates particularly the identification and collection of assets and beneficiaries, litigation, and subsequent transfer of estates.

She has extensive experience in gender and reproductive justice and works side by side with activists on the ground to strategize and advance SRHRJ particularly in Africa. She has written a number of opinion and issue-oriented articles, primarily on women's rights. Ms. Opondo holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from Pune University, India and master’s degree in Gender and Development from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.


Mustafa Kudrati, Vice President, Programs
Board Member, EngenderHealth (USA)

Mustafa Kudrati has over 25 years of experience managing integrated health programs and leading human rights policy and advocacy initiatives. Currently he is the EngenderHealth (EH) Vice President of Programs, overseeing reproductive health programs in 11 countries, in FP, GBV, and Maternal Health, especially fistula care and prevention. He maintains high-level relationships with donors, and he has co-led several major internal organizational transformations.

From 2009-2017, as the Pathfinder International Country Representative for Tanzania, Mustafa managed a diverse reproductive health portfolio of over 20 projects, with awards totaling more than 50 million USD. Pathfinder-Tanzania's programs included health facility, community-based, and home-based initiatives focused on: family planning (FP); safe abortion advocacy; maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH); HIV/AIDS testing and treatment; population, health, and the environment (PHE); and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV). Mustafa also served as a member of Pathfinder International’s Executive Team.

From 2003-2009, Mr. Kudrati was the global technical lead for Pathfinder International’s institutional capacity building programs. He provided technical assistance to strengthen non-governmental organization (NGO), faith-based organization (FBO), and local government capacity in strategic planning, program supervision, operational management, financial oversight, sustainability, leadership development, and governance.

Previously, Mustafa has worked as organizational development consultant, providing services to NGOs and the public sector in Eastern and Southern Africa and Southeast Asia.  He also co-founded and directed the Kuleana Center for Children’s Rights, which received high acclaim for its child rights advocacy and its model practices for working with at-risk children.

Mustafa was born and raised in Tanzania.


Marta Elena Royo Ruiz, Executive Director
Board Member, ProFamilia (IPPF - Colombia)

Marta Royo found a great opportunity to serve as a rights activist when she became the Executive Director of Profamilia in 2012, Colombia’s longest-standing, non-governmental organization that provides, protects, and advocates for sexual and reproductive rights and services.

This responsibility has given her the opportunity to help achieve significant political and social transformation aimed towards improving the status of girls and women in Colombia, including, but not limited to leading legislature on the National Policy on Sexuality and Sexual and Reproductive Rights; making sure these rights are recognized for people with disabilities; eliminating the barriers that prevent women from accessing safe abortions.

In this position, she has managed to implement a successful social enterprise model, while working towards making Profamilia a sustainable organization and expanding the social impact of its programs and initiatives. This model has targeted marginalized areas, where women and girls experience vast inequalities seen in high teen pregnancy rates, gender-based violence, low levels of reproductive autonomy among women and their low representation in the education system.

Of Spanish and Panamanian nationality, Marta Royo graduated from Dartmouth College. She holds a post-graduate degree in Social Economy from the University of Barcelona, a Master’s in Literature from New York University, Advanced Negotiation Program from University of California, Berkeley, a Health Management Development Program from Universidad de los Andes and the Innovation and Strategy Program from Universidad de la Sabana.


Abebe Shibru, Country Director
Board Member, MSI (Ethiopia)

Mr. Abebe has 20 years of professional experience in organizational management of large-scale community development and SRH/FP and public health care programmes in Africa and Asia (Cambodia). With experience in designing and managing multi-donor funded development and health care programmes, Mr. Abebe has strong technical skills in strategic planning, programme design and implementation, monitoring, and evaluation as well as training and facilitation to build local capacity using participatory learning and action approaches. He has proven advocacy, leadership and strategic decision-making skills and strong governance experiences. He has in depth experience in policy advocacy skill in Africa context. His experience also includes managing large country programme teams as well as managing and leading a multi donor funded large programmes which includes USAID, PEPFAR, FCDO, SIDA and the Government of the Netherlands among other donors. His impressive career includes positions in MSI Ethiopia as Country Director since July 2020, MSI Zimbabwe as Country Director and Chief of Party from June 2016 to June 2020, US Peace Corps Ethiopia Office as Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD), Intrahealth International as Team Leader and Field Operations Manager, Action Aid Ethiopia as Senior Programme Officer of  community-based healthcare and Gender Focal Person, and  Catholic Church Medical Program as MCH Nurse and HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator. Abebe served as CSO focal person for FP2020 Zimbabwe program for Four years. Mr Abebe holds an MPH from Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as an MBA specialized in health service management, BSC, and advance Diploma in Comprehensive Nursing from Addis Ababa University Gondor College of Medical Science.


Sara Nagi, Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Board Member, Spectrum (Sudan)

Sara Nagi is a highly motivated planner, researcher and leader. Her five years of experience in public health and women’s empowerment were focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is a co-founder of TAYF, a youth-led initiative dedicated to SRHR in Sudan, and serves as its current COO. Sara is also a Sustainability Leader at United People Global and a Young Leaders Access Program Alumni at MCW Global.

Over the years, Sara designed and implemented several national projects across Sudan’s different states with a focus on women’s rights and youth engagement. She represented the International Federation of Medical Students Association at the 71st World Health Assembly by working on a policy statement about “Ending Discrimination in Healthcare”. Sara believes in evidence-based, human-centered intervention, acknowledging that our communities are the main stakeholders, and are themselves the drivers of change.


Ekanem Itoro Effiong, Chair
Board Member, The PACT (Nigeria)

Ekanem holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of Calabar (Nigeria). He earned certificates in Leadership and Management in Global Health and Project Management in Global Health from the University of Washington. He attended a short course on Improving the Health of Women, Children, and Adolescents: From Evidence to Action at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. And graduated from the Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, New-York, USA.

Ekanem has managed and implemented advocacy, high-impact and evidence-based programs around sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS preventions, and malaria and TB interventions. He has influenced policies and laws that facilitate and sustain social change in the areas of health, protection, and education geared towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, he is the UNAIDS Youth Leader for West and Central Africa and Chair for The PACT, a global coalition of over 150 youth-led and youth-serving organizations working within the sexual and reproductive health and HIV movement. Ekanem was recently nominated as Civil Society (CSO) Representative on the UNAIDS Monitoring Technical Advisory Group (MTAG), a Global expert body, which coordinates and makes technical recommendations on indicator development, revisions, harmonization, and reviews of M&E data to guide program management and for impact assessment. Ekanem is currently a board member of the Initiative for Gender Equality and Sexual Reproductive Health (IGE-SRH), a youth-led organization established in 2020 whose primary focus is the protection, promotion, and fulfillment of the rights, meaningful inclusion, and programming of LBQTI women.


Donor Seats


Ann Starrs, "Director, Family Planning Global Development Program"
Board Member, BMGF (USA)

Ann Starrs joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Director of Family Planning in July 2019. In this capacity, she leads the Family Planning team's overall strategy and coordinates with other global strategies within the foundation and with external partners to achieve greater access to voluntary family planning. Before joining the foundation, she served as the President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute; during that time, she co-chaired the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Prior to joining Guttmacher, Ann was President of Family Care International, which she helped found in 1986. She currently serves as co-chair of the Strategic Advocacy Committee of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; is a member of the FP2030 Governing Board; and memberof the Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health Board. She previously served on the PMNCH Board from 2005-2018; was part of the Developed Country NGO Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ann holds a master’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in demography from Princeton’s Office of Population Research; she received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 


Chris Carter
Deputy Director – Head of Human Development Department, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, UK

Chris has more than 18 years’ experience working for HMG, mostly working in DFID on and in fragile and conflict affected states and leading on wider development policy in HMG. In 2008 in DR Congo, he managed projects of over £200 million for road building, forestry, WASH and the mineral sector. In 2011, he oversaw projects in Afghanistan covering job creation, support to the civilian security forces and humanitarian affairs after working on governance issues, including leading on elections. In 2013, as Head of the Political Team in the FCO’s Somalia Unit, he led the development of policy papers for the National Security Council on issues such as al-Shabaab and the Somali elections. Then, as Head of Education Programmes in Pakistan, he oversaw a budget of £800 million for education and was SRO for 3 of the most complex education programmes. In 2018 he began as Deputy Head of Europe Department and Head of the EU Exit Team before taking over as Head of Europe Department. During this time, he stepped in as Private Secretary for the Minister for Africa for 3 months. Most recently he was Deputy Director for Covid-19 International Response and is now Head of Human Development Department in the FCDO. Before working for HMG, he was a secondary school teacher of English literature and language and then worked in IT after completing a MSc. in Computer Science. He also has a MSc. in Poverty Reduction and a MA (Oxon) in Theology.


Lisa Goodwin, Deputy Director, Office of Population and Reproductive Health
Board Member, USAID (USA)


Multilateral Organizations


Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director
Board Member, UNFPA (USA)

Dr. Natalia Kanem is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in 2017, Dr. Kanem has more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of preventive medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy. She started her research career with the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health.

Dr. Kanem joined the United Nations in 2014 as UNFPA Country Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania. In 2016, she was named Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director in charge of programmes. Previously, she served as founding president of ELMA Philanthropies, Inc., and as senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies.

At the Ford Foundation from 1992 to 2004, she funded pioneering work on women’s reproductive health and human rights, serving first in West Africa and eventually as Deputy Vice-President for peace and social justice programmes in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America.

She holds a medical degree from Columbia University in New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Health with specializations in epidemiology and preventive medicine from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College in history and science.

In 2019, Dr. Kanem presided over the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development. Dr. Kanem is recognized for her powerful advocacy for the rights and choices of women and girls and as a key influencer and thought leader in the formulation of global policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Sustainable Development Goals era and has been listed on the Gender Equality Top 100.

A member of the United Nations Senior Management Group, a high-level body chaired by the Secretary-General, she is also a member of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination; the United Nations Secretariat Management Performance Board; the H6 Partnership for global health; and the UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations, which she has chaired. She is also a Governor of the United Nations System Staff College and a member of the Honorary Advisory Council of the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists. 

Dr. Kanem advocates for the rights of women and girls on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, an international forum for humanitarian partners, and as co-chair of the Reference Group of Family Planning 2020-2030, a global partnership for investing in rights-based family planning. She has made leadership contributions to the Secretary-General’s organizational transformation initiatives towards reform of the United Nations development system, including co-chairing the Strategic Financing Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, and as a member of the High-Level Steering Groups on Gender, Youth, the System-wide Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and the global response to COVID-19. 

Dr. Kanem is the fifth Executive Director of UNFPA since the Fund became operational in 1969.

Pascale Allotey  

Pascale Allotey, Director, Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) including the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP)
Board Member, WHO

Dr. Pascale Allotey is a leader in gender, equity, health and human rights.  

Her recent work includes challenging the boundaries of global health, advocating for accountability in the decolonization of global health and international development, and expanding opportunities to diversify the voices of contributors to global debates and decision making – particularly in evidence generation, policy and programme implementation within the UN system, with governments, NGOs and the academic community.

Dr. Allotey is a triple-certified nurse, midwife and public health nurse with a multidisciplinary background in clinical health sciences, implementation research, anthropology, and epidemiology. She holds a PhD in Public Health and a MMedSci in Community Health from the University of Western Australia, and a BA in Nursing and Psychology from the University of Ghana, Legon.

Bringing over three decades of experience as a global public health researcher, Dr. Allotey has published extensively including on: sexual and reproductive health; harmful traditional practices; gender, sex and disease; migrants and refugees; health systems research; implementation research, and community engagement.

Prior to joining WHO, Dr. Allotey was Director of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Originally from Ghana, her previous posts include: Professor of Public Health and Deputy Head of School (Research) at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University (Malaysia); founding Associate Director of the South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO Malaysia); Professor of Race, Diversity and Professional Practice, Brunel University (United Kingdom).

Dr. Allotey Co-Chairs the Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health and is a former Co-Chair of the HRP Gender and Rights Advisory Panel. 


Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe, Global Director, Health, Nutrition & Population and the Global Financing Facility, World Bank
Board Member, World Bank and GFF (USA)


Academic, Private and Other Sectors


Dr. Rehana Ahmed, Chair of Greenstar Social Marketing (GSM) Board, member of WHO Reproductive Health Scientific & Technical Advisory Group
Board Member, Pakistan

Dr.Rehana Ahmed is a medical doctor trained in Pakistan and UK, with an executive MBA from Columbia University. Her skills span across the medical, management, leadership, and governance areas.

She is the founder of Social Franchising for Greenstar Social Marketing, designing the addition of family planning and family health service delivery, in partnership with over 7000 private health clinics in Pakistan -  without  owning any of them . This can be described as the UBER for family planning , mother & child health.

In her 14 years stay in East Africa she propagated this Social Franchise model through international NGOs in 37 countries of Asia and Africa. There are the Blue Star and Gold Star and other branded franchises, to help increase access and improve the quality of family planning and reproductive health services for millions of underserved people of those countries .

In Kenya she assisted the German Government Development Bank (KfW) for the Output based Aid voucher programs.  She was also the Reproductive Health specialist for the Millennium Villages project for East and Southern Africa.

Back in Pakistan since 2018, she is Chair of Greenstar Social Marketing  Board and a Director on the PSI and PS Kenya Boards. She is a member of World Health Organization (WHO) Reproductive Health Scientific & Technical Advisory Group . She also teaches in the MSc Health Policy & Management Programme of The Aga Khan University, Karachi.

She holds the Pakistan Institute Corporate Governance certification necessary for serving on Boards.    


Marie Ba, Director
Board Member, Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit

Since 2020, Marie Ba has served as the Director of the Ouagadougou Partnership (OP) Coordination Unit and as a leading advocate and actor for women and families in the region. As Director, Marie leads collaboration and coordination among the OP’s stakeholders, including the Ministries of Health in the OP’s nine member countries, civil society organizations and other implementing partners, and major international donors for reproductive health, which collectively contribute over $150 million per year to advance reproductive health options and outcomes in the region. Marie leads dialogue, advocacy, and activities between partners at the global, regional, and country levels, and helps to align support to countries’ reproductive health priorities defined by the Ministries of Health. Marie and her team are also especially passionate advocates for youth involvement and leadership in countries’ and partners’ decision-making, including on reproductive health policies and programs, and have provided training, employment, and direct support for youth leaders in reproductive health.

Marie Ba has worked in health and development in West and Central Africa for fifteen years managing programs and projects for leading global philanthropies and international NGOs. She has based her work from Washington, D.C. and from Senegal, focusing her attention first on providing technical assistance to projects in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and more recently on efforts to improve lives of women and families in the nine member countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership. Throughout her work, Marie has concentrated on building partnerships between government, civil society, and philanthropic actors, and has led development and implementation of crucial aspects of successful health partnerships, including communications and advocacy strategies, financial planning and management, and grants and contracts compliance, on top of field-leading program management.

Marie Ba holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social & Behavioral Sciences from the University of Maryland-College Park and a Master’s Degree in International Development and Peace / Conflict Resolution from the American University in Washington, D.C.