The group is co-chaired by H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of the Republic of Chile, and H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and two alternate co-chairs, H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen, former President of the Republic of Finland, and H.E. Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The members were drawn to include global representation from governments, the business community, philanthropists, young people, civil society and multilateral systems, and reflect the diversity of the Every Woman Every Child movement.
The initial members announced in January 2016 will be expanded with additional key leaders. With initial appointments lasting for one year, the group will meet to review progress and challenges, and provide recommendations on issues such as financing, accountability, cross-sectoral action and country-level implementation of the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.
H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria
President of the Republic of Chile
H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet is a Chilean politician who has served as the President of Chile since March 2014. She holds a Medical Degree with a specialization in Surgery, Paediatrics and Public Health. During the 1980’s and 90s, Ms. Bachelet held several health-related positions such as with the National AIDS Commission (Conasida), the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health, to improve primary care and service management. Ms. Bachelet became the Health Minister of Chile in 2000 and continued as the first female Defence Minister in Latin America in 2002. In 2006 Bachelet became the first female President of Chile marking a new governmental era of social inclusion and gender equality. After her first term as President in 2010 she served as president of a joint-initiative with the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization before moving on to join UN Women as its first Director. She held this position until March 2013 when she returned to Chile to run for and take the post as President.
H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn
Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn is an Ethiopian politician who has served as Prime Minister of Ethiopia since 2012. From 2010 to 2012 he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, he served as a political leader in the leading political coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. Mr. Desalegn succeeded Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as Prime Minister in August 2012 and was then elected as the Chair of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling party, on 15 September 2012. Hailemariam Desalegn also served as the Chairperson of the African Union from 2013 to 2014. Mr. Desalegn graduated from Addis Abada University in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also earned a Master’s degree in sanitation engineering from Tampere University of Technology in Finland and a Master’s in organizational leadership at Azusa Pacific University in the U.S. After attending university in Finland, Hailemariam worked for 13 years in administrative positions in the Water Technology Institute.
H.E. Mrs. Tarja Halonen
Former President of the Republic of Finland
H.E. Tarja Halonen is the former President of the Republic of Finland, serving from 2000 to 2012. Prior to her presidency, she served as a Member of Parliament for 21 years, served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice and Minister at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. She also served as Chair of the Parliamentary Grand Committee, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Law Committee, Chair of the Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee and was a longstanding member of the Helsinki City Council. President Halonen is known for her political knowledge of trade unions and commitment to human rights, and was also a strong advocate early on in her career for sexual rights and sexuality education. To these ends, she has served in various capacities. She was Co-Chair of the Millennium Summit, the International Labor Organization’s World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, Co-Chair of the United Nations High-level Panel on Global Sustainability and Co-Chair of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. She is currently Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and member of the Board of Trustees of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, where she also served as member of the board between 2006 and 2009. In 2013, she was designated as Drylands Ambassador of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. She is also a member of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health. President Halonen holds 17 honorary degrees from various universities, including from her alma mater, the Helsinki University, where she earned a Master of Law.
H. E. Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was the Fourth President of the United Republic of Tanzania, in office from 2005 to 2015. Prior to his election as President, he served in different party, military and government positions. He joined the Cabinet in 1988 and held several ministerial portfolios including Minister for Finance, Minister for Water, Energy and Mineral Resources and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He also was the longest serving Foreign Minister in the history of Tanzania after serving that position for a ten year tenure. President Kikwete was also elected Chairman of the African Union Assembly of Heads of States and Government in 2008, where he took a proactive role in the resolution of conflicts in the Republic of Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also advanced to greater heights the relations between the AU and the UN, EU and International Community at large. President Kikwete is a Graduate in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam.
H.E. Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie of Canada
H.E. Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau is a Canadian politician and was sworn in as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie in November 2015. After earning a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management from the Université de Sherbrooke, Ms. Bibeau went on to work for the Canadian International Development Agency in Canada as well as in Morocco and Benin. She eventually settled in the riding of Compton–Stanstead to raise her family, work, and volunteer in the community. Ms. Bibeau is the founder and coordinator of Regroupement des Institutions Muséales des Cantons-de-l’Est, an association of museums and former board member of several associations and organizations. She was also the Secretary of the Compton Revitalization Committee and Chair of the Governing Board of the École Louis-St-Laurent in Compton. Ms. Bibeau is an experienced business woman with co-ownership of an award winning tourism business, holding positions as Director of Accreditation for the Sherbrooke 2013 Canada Summer Games and as Executive Director of the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science.
H.E. Mr. Børge Brende
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
H.E. Mr. Børge Brende is a Norwegian politician and has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs since October 2013. Mr. Brende holds a degree in economics, law and history and started his career as a political advisor in the Youth branch of the Norwegian Conservative Party and eventually went on to become Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. In 2001 he was sworn in as Minister of the Environment and as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2004–2005. He then continued working in politics as a member of the Norwegian Parliament from1997–2009. Mr. Brende has served twice as Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, first from 2008 to 2009 and then from 2011 to 2013. He has also served as the Secretary General for the Norwegian Red Cross, the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment and as a member of the China Council for International Environment and Development.
H.E. Mr. Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India
H.E. Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda is an Indian politician and was sworn in as Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare in 2012. Mr. Nadda holds a graduate degree in Law from Himachal University, Shimla. Mr. Nadda held three terms as a Member of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1993 to 2012 and acted as leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party Legislative group in the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1994 to 1998. He has held several state Cabinet positions in the Government of Himachal Pradesh – including Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs from 1998 to 2003 and Cabinet Minister of Forest, Environment, Science and Technology from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Nadda has served as a member in several Parliamentary Standing Committees, including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Privileges before being appointed as the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare in November 2014.
H.E. Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck
Minister of Health and Social Action of the Republic of Senegal
H.E. Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck has served as Minister of Health of the Republic of Senegal since 2012. She earned her medical degree in 1978 and has a long record of service in Public Health and Development. Dr. Coll Seck has previously worked as a specialist in infectious diseases in leading hospitals in Senegal and France and as Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Dakar and Chief of Service for Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital in Dakar. From 1996 to 2001 she served as Director of the UNAIDS Department of Country and Regional Support. From 2004 to 2011 Dr. Coll Seck was Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and Minister of Health and Prevention of Senegal from 2001 to 2003. Other important positions held by Dr. Coll Seck: Chairperson of Committee B of the World Health Assembly and President of the Assembly of the Ministries of Health of the West African Health Organization. She has been awarded numerous professional and academic honours and is the author of more than 150 scientific publications.
Her Excellency Rym Abdulla Al Falasy
Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood
Board Member of the Gender Balance Council, Abu Dhabi
Working under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Supreme Chairwoman of the the Family Development Foundation, President of the General Women’s Union and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC), Al Falasy strives to achieve the Council’s driving objectives. These include ensuring support, safety and security for all mothers and children, suggesting development policies for their progress, and encouraging studies and research. Prior to joining the SCMC, Rym Al Falasy worked with the General Secretariat of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, where she led the Strategic Communications Section. Before that, she had led the Communications Section of the Office of the Brand of Abu Dhabi. Her Excellency Rym Abdulla Al Falasy obtained her BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, and later obtained a Certificate in Business for International Professionals from the University of Washington.
H.E. Mr. Elhadj As Sy
Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Senegal
H.E. Mr. Elhadj As Sy has served as the Secretary General of the IFRC since 2014 and has a long record of holding leadership roles in the humanitarian sector. He graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and holds a Post Graduate diploma in Education from the Ecole normale superieure in Dakar. From 1988 to 1997, he served as Director of Health and Development Programmes with Environment and Development Action in the Third World in Senegal. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Sy was Director, HIV/AIDS Practice with the United Nations Development Programme in New York. He has also worked with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as its Africa Regional Director and later as Director of Operational Partnerships and Country Support in Geneva. Mr. Sy has also held the position of UNAIDS Representative in New York and Director of the New York Liaison Office. Before joining the IFRC, Mr. Sy was UNICEF’s Director of Partnerships and Resource Development in New York. He has also served as UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa and Global Emergency Coordinator for the Horn of Africa.
H.E. Mr. Saber Chowdhury
President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Bangladesh
H.E. Mr. Saber Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi politician currently serving as the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He holds a Degree in Economics/Politics from the School of Oriental & African Studies and a Diploma in Law from the University of Westminster. Mr. Chowdhury entered politics in 1996 and served as Deputy Minister of Ports & Shipping and later as Deputy Minister for Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives in 1999. From 2010 to 2014, Mr. Chowdhury was President of the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security and served as member of the IPU Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs in 2014. Mr. Chowdhury has put great focus on disarmament, sustainable development and climate change, and has pioneered community initiatives on health care, youth empowerment, urban microcredit for women and legal aid. He co-authored a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry on Climate Change Equity by the Parliaments of Bangladesh and the United Kingdom, released in 2009. A former prisoner of conscience, Mr. Chowdhury tabled a private member bill in Bangladesh’s Parliament that was adopted as the Torture & Custodial Death (Prohibition) Act, 2013.
Ms. Jovana Ríos Cisnero
Ms. Jovana Ríos Cisnero has been a member of the “Youth with Options” program of the Panamanian Family Planning Association since 2004 where she has also received training in human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and youth participation. As a volunteer, Ms. Ríos Cisnero works to promote rights for women, youth, and other vulnerable groups through events, forums, consultations, conferences, and national and international meetings. Ms. Ríos Cisnero is a member of the NGO Delegation from Developing Countries with the Global Fund and participates in UNFPA's Special Youth Program in New York City. Her experience in the International Planned Parenthood Federation / Western Hemsiphere Region’s Board of Directors permits her to realize her commitment to women's right to choose, strengthen youth participation, and increase access to sexual and reproductive health services. Ms. Ríos Cisnero holds a Bachelor of Psychology from the Universidad Interamericana de Panama and a postgraduate degree in Higher Education, and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Clinical Psychology at Universidad de Panama.
Mr. Robert Collymore
Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom Limited, Kenya
Mr. Robert (Bob) Collymore is the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom Limited, a leading communications company in Africa and pioneer of MPESA, the world’s most developed mobile payment system. Mr. Collymore has more than 30 years of commercial experience working in the telecommunications sector and has held senior roles in marketing, purchasing, retail and corporate affairs in countries such as Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom. In April 2016, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reappointed Mr. Collymore to the United Nations Global Compact Board. This is seen as recognition of Safaricom’s commitment to environmental, sustainability and anticorruption issues, as well as of the work it is undertaking to address maternal health and child mortality. Mr. Collymore is a member of the Board of Acumen and has served as a Commissioner on the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. In Kenya, he sits on The Vision 2030 Delivery Board and is the founding trustee of the National Road Safety Trust.
Mrs. Melinda Gates
Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Along with Bill, Melinda shapes and approves the Foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Together, they meet with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. Through her work at the foundation over the last fifteen years, Melinda has seen first-hand that empowering women and girls can bring transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. In 2012, Melinda spearheaded the London Summit on Family Planning, which adopted the goal of delivering contraceptives to an additional 120 million women in developing countries by 2020. Her work has led her to increasingly focus on gender equity as a path to meaningful change. Melinda received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and a master’s in business administration from the Fuqua School of Business in 1987. After joining Microsoft Corp. that year, she distinguished herself as a leader in the development of multimedia products and was later appointed Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products. In 1996, Melinda left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work and family.
Mr. Kevin Jenkins
President and Chief Executive Officer, World Vision International, Canada
Mr. Kevin Jenkins became President and Chief Executive Officer of World Vision International in October 2009. He previously served the organisation as a sponsor, volunteer, fundraiser and Board member with World Vision Canada. Mr. Jenkins earned a Bachelor of Law degree and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. After serving in a number of senior roles with Canadian Airlines, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Jenkins went on to lead The Westaim Corporation. Before joining World Vision, Mr. Jenkins also served as a managing director of TriWest Capital Partners, a private equity firm. As President and Chief Executive Officer of World Vision International Jenkins has participated in relief emergency work in Africa and post-earthquake Haiti, visited development projects, talked with microfinance recipients and launched advocacy campaigns. He is a member of a number of global organisations that pursue practical, sustainable health improvements for the world’s most vulnerable women and children, increased effectiveness of civil society and excellence in governance.
Mr. Anthony Lake
Chair of H6 Partnership (Formerly known as H4+ Partnership)
The H6 is a joint effort by UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank, to address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The H6 serves as the lead technical partners for the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health.
Mr. Lake is the sixth Executive Director of UNICEF, where he has led the organization’s renewed focus on equity, a cost-effective approach to achieving faster results for the world’s most disadvantaged children. Mr. Lake is the Head of Agency Chair of the H6 (formerly known as H4+ Partnership). The H6 is a joint effort by UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank, to address reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The H6 serves as the lead technical partners for the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health. Mr. Lake also serves as Chairman of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group, which brings together governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers to combat under-nutrition and stunting. Prior to joining UNICEF, Mr. Lake was US National Security Adviser (1993-1997), and also served as the President’s Special Envoy on the Ethiopia/Eritrea conflict, and Haiti. Formerly Chair of the US Fund for UNICEF, he also has served on the Boards of several other international development organizations.
Ms. Li Xiaolin
President, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries
Ms. Li Xiaolin has served as the President of The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries since 2011. She started her career in CPAFFC in 1975. Under her leadership, CPAFFC has set up local branches in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central government, and in a number of cities, districts and counties in China. CPAFFC has also set up 46 China-regional or China-national friendship organizations and established cooperation with nearly 500 non-governmental organizations and institutions in 157 countries. Ms. Li has been elected as the Member of the 10th and 11th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, Member of the Standing Committee of the 12th CPPCC National Committee and the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 12th CPPCC National Committee. She also serves as the Honorary President of China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development and as President of China International Friendship Cities Association. Ms. Li initiated cooperation between CPAFFC and Every Woman Every Child in 2014 and established the EWEC China Partnership Network in 2015 to integrate the resources of government institutions, academies, companies and individuals to promote the health of women, children and adolescents all over the world. Ms. Li graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1983 with a Master's degree.
Ms. Graça Machel
Board Chair, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Founder, Graça Machel Trust, Mozambique
Mrs. Graça Machel is a renowned international advocate for women's and children's rights and has been a social and political activist over many decades. Ms. Machel s a former freedom fighter and was the first Education Minister of Mozambique. Her contributions to the Africa Progress Panel, the United Nations Secretary-General's Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group and the High Level Panel on Post 2015 Development Agenda have been widely appreciated. She is a member of The Elders, Girls Not Brides, Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, African Ambassador for A Promised Renewed, President of SOAS, University of London, Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, President of the Foundation for Community Development, founder of the Zizile Institute for Child Development. As Founder of the newly established Graça Machel Trust, she has focused more recently on advocating for women's economic and financial empowerment, education for all, an end to child marriage, food security and nutrition, and promoting democracy and good governance.
H.E. Ms. Dame Meg Taylor, DBE
Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Forum
H.E. Ms. Dame Meg Taylor currently serves as the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Ocean Commissioner. She holds a LL.B degree from Melbourne University and a LL.M degree from Harvard University. Ms. Dame Taylor has previously practised Law in Papua New Guinea and served as a member of the Law Reform Commission. She then went on to pursue her new role as Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Canada between 1989 and 1994. In 1999 she was appointed to the post of Vice President and Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the World Bank Group following a selection process led by civil society, industry, and academia. Ms. Dame Meg Taylor is co-founder of Conservation Melanesia and has served on the boards of various international conservation and research organizations, as well as of a number of companies in Papua New Guinea in the natural resources, financial, and agricultural sectors. In 2002, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
CEO, Save the Children International
Helle Thorning-Schmidt joined Save the Children after a formidable political career. Formerly the Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle led a coalition government from 2011 until 2015. Helle was member of Parliament and the Leader of the Social Democratic Party for 10 years. She was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004, and previously worked as an international adviser to the Confederation of Trade Unions. Throughout her career Helle has tackled significant national and global issues, specifically with regards to children’s rights. Helle has been recognised for her commitment to helping children fulfil their potential by ensuring access to quality education and was invited by the UN General Secretary to be a Global Education Champion to promote the Global Education First Initiative. In 2015 she was appointed to the Education Financing Commission led by Gordon Brown. As CEO of Save the Children, Helle oversees humanitarian and development programmes that directly reach 55 million children in around 120 countries every year, including in some of the most difficult and challenging contexts.