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Celebrating Our Global Program Leaders

By Mustafa Kudrati

The year 2020 will be in the history books as both an enormous challenge and enormous opportunity for those working in sexual and reproductive health and rights, including us at EngenderHealth. As we reflect on the obstacles we faced and the successes we achieved during the year, we pause to honor and appreciate a key group of leaders in the organization who went above and beyond, day after day, providing the leadership and management required to accomplish all that we did. Through the majority of the year, they lived and implemented the priorities we set out in March when the pandemic was new: we prioritized the wellbeing of our staff, supported our communities, and provided our partners and programs with exceptional engagement and assistance. Our country and regional representatives are all committed, talented, and determined professionals who lead with grace and who reflect the best of EngenderHealth.

In 2020, we were delighted to bring four new country representatives onto our global team:

Ajay KheraDr. Ajay Khera, EngenderHealth’s India Country Representative, brings enormous experience from his past role of National Commissioner for Maternal and Child Health at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the government of India. His professional experience on topics of maternal, child, and adolescent health; HIV/AIDS; communicable diseases; and obstetrics and gynecology help EngenderHealth design and implement projects that lead to lasting improvements in SRH.

Lucie NyamarushwaLucie Nyamarushwa is Deputy Chief of Party, Gender Technical Advisor for the GIR’ITEKA Project and EngenderHealth’s Burundi Country Representative. Lucie brings fifteen years of experience on women’s rights and addressing gender-based violence to our collaboration in Burundi, ensuring a woman-centered approach to integrated GBV, HIV, and family planning programs.

Georges CoulibalyGeorges Coulibaly is EngenderHealth’s Country Representative for Burkina Faso. He brings more than twenty years of experience in program management, strategic planning, reproductive health, and partnership building in the public and private health sector in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Côte d’Ivoire.  His experience is proving invaluable in establishing a strong safe abortion access program in the country.

Rokia SissokoRokia Sissoko is EngenderHealth’s Country Representative for Mali and the Gender Technical Lead on the USAID funded Household and Community Health Project.  Rokia brings a tremendous amount of technical expertise in policy and advocacy, social and behavior change, and family planning through her engagement at Palladium, PSI, and the Center for Communications Programs.

Ajay, Lucie, Georges, and Rokia are joined other country and regional representatives who, in addition to leading their programs, also were major contributors to EngenderHealth’s current global strategy:

Prudence MasakoPrudence Masako has been the Tanzania Country Representative for EngenderHealth since August 2018. She has more than 15 years of experience in a variety of public health roles, and she is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Cardinal Rugambwa Memorial Hospital in Dar es Salaam. Her leadership has been recognized with global, regional, and national leadership awards, including most recently being named one of the 50 top women in management in Tanzania.

Jemal KassawJemal Kassaw has worked with EngenderHealth for over 15 years in a variety of technical positions and has been the Country Representative of Ethiopia since 2014. He is deeply knowledgeable about health sector policies and strategies globally, regionally, and in Ethiopia.  He is a member of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council of the Ethiopia Public Health Officers Association and is the chair of the board of the Consortium of Reproductive Health Associations (CORHA) in Ethiopia.

Nina ShalitaNina Shalita joined EngenderHealth in January 2019, leading a program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that includes projects on postpartum family planning, addressing the needs of street children, and fistula care. Nina has nearly 20 years of experience in health and development and has worked with the private sector, local NGOs, and international NGOs in East and Central Africa.

Nènè Fofana-Cissé joined EngenderHealth in 2018 as Regional Representative for West and Central Africa. She leads initiatives to support local leadership and networks in developing and delivering SRHR programs.  A strong advocate for women’s health and rights and passionate about developing integrated programming that serves women, Nènè is the currently Chair of Le Forum pour la Sécurité Contraceptive en Afrique Francophone (SECONAF – the Reproductive Health Security Forum for Francophone Africa).

Thank you to all of our exceptional leaders who guide our work and bring our mission to life, ensuring that we implement high-quality, gender-equitable programs that advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.