Master of Ceremonies
Senior Journalist, India
Barkha Dutt is one of the most well-known media personalities in India, formerly the face of NDTV. Her reports from war zones and conflict areas, as well as her talk shows have won her several national and international awards. She recently ventured into the digital platform with ‘Mojo Live Media’. While partnering with The Quint for the UP elections in 2017, she championed the cause of women candidates and voters on the ground. Ms. Dutt has been awarded the Padma Shri – the fourth highest civilian honour in India. She has also done several television shows on health, including clinical trials, in-vitro fertilisation and polio eradication. Ms. Dutt been named twice on the list of 100 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow" compiled by the World Economic Forum.
Netherlands’ Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & HIV/AIDS
Lambert Grijns is Director of the Social Development Department and Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, since 2012. He was a member of the Advisory Group for the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and member of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Lambert Grijns earned his Master of Arts in Spatial Planning at the University of Amsterdam. Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992, he has served at Headquarters and at Embassies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He was the Dutch Ambassador to Nicaragua from 2008 to 2011.
Youth Advocate, CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, Ireland/the Netherlands
Anna Devereux is an advocate in the HIV/AIDS and SRHR spaces. Meaningful youth participation is also a key interest of hers as a youth advocate at CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality. Most notably she is a co-founder of the Dutch-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign collective working to repeal the 8th amendment prohibiting abortion in Ireland. She currently works as a consultant to the KIT Royal Tropical Institute and Cordaid developing an online game centered on positive decision making related to HIV interventions in fragile environments. She also teaches Anthropology at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. In the past she worked as the Executive Officer in the Amsterdam Youth Force representing youth voices during the AIDS 2018 conference. She holds a joint bachelor’s degree in politics and anthropology from Maynooth University and a Master of Science in social policy and social intervention from Utrecht University.
Youth Advocate, CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, Ireland/the Netherlands
Fiona Kirk is a passionate advocate in the human rights and SRHR spaces who recently worked to repeal the 8th amendment prohibiting abortion in Ireland. Her success and leadership in this endeavor has put her on the map as a dedicated SRHR advocate. She currently works as a Junior Communications Manager at the Access to Nutrition Foundation and as a youth advocate for CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in geography and sociology from Trinity College in Dublin and a Master of Science in sociology with a focus on contemporary social problems from Utrecht University.
Senior Policy Analyst, HIV Justice Network, Australia/the Netherlands
Sally Cameron has worked on issues relating to HIV, gender, community development and capacity building for many years. Based in Australia, she is currently the Senior Policy Analyst for the HIV Justice Network. Her recent work includes The Expert Consensus Statement on the Science of HIV in the Context of Criminal Law, the HIV Criminalisation Defence Case Compendium and The HIV Justice Toolkit. Prior to that Sally worked as an HIV Education and Health Promotion Officer at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO). Sally has a Master’s in Women’s Studies and has worked on policy and programming in women’s services for both the community sector and government. She has also undertaken work on HIV-related stigma for the Global Network of People Living with HIV, human trafficking for the United Nations University and the International Labour Organization, and women’s reproductive and sexual health for numerous Australian organizations and for the International Partnership for Microbicides. Sally is particularly interested in the application of gender analysis to HIV policy and programming and wonders why it remains necessary to argue that gender analysis is necessary to inform effective strategy.
HIV/AIDS Advocate & Professor, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of São Paulo, Argentina/Brazil
Born in Argentina and living in Brazil since 1975, Jorge Beloqui is a professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of São Paulo and joined the AIDS Movement in 1989. He is one of the founders of Grupo Pela VIDDA-SP and Cadernos Pela Vidda, the first publication on antiretroviral drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Brazil. He is a member of the Group for Life Incentive (GIV), the Brazilian Network of PLWHA (RNP+ Brazil) and the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA). Since 1999 he has been the Editor of the Prevention and Vaccines Bulletin, dedicated to informing people about HIV prevention research. He has also been a users representative at the National Commission on Ethics in Research and was a plenarist speaking on access to treatment at the 1998 AIDS Conference in Geneva.
Coordinator, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, India
Suchitra Dalvie is the Coordinator of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership and a Board Member of the Safe Abortion Action Fund. She is a passionate advocate of women's right to safe abortion and has been involved in development work for almost 20 years. She is also a practicing gynecologist. She has worked on a range of issues, including quality of care in clinical services, gender and rights training, and medical abortion technical updates. She has contributed to the development of several protocols and guidelines, both technical and managerial. She received her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree and her MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from King Edward Memorial Hospital and Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, University of Bombay. She is also a Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, London, UK. She holds a postgraduate diploma in hospital and health care management and has completed a course on management of prison health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Chairperson, She Decides Global Movement, Malawi
Tikhala Itaye is the co-founder of Her Liberty, a youth led-organization focusing on strengthening the position of women and girls and ensuring they realize their potential. She is also the former President of the African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN). This network coordinates youth networks and organizations in East and Southern Africa that focus on sexual and reproductive health for young people. In the past, she produced a youth TV series on HIV and gender based violence aimed at behavior change among young people. She is a lawyer by profession, a TV Presenter on youth issues in Malawi and the Global She Decides Youth Champion and Chairperson.
Executive Director, International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA), Uganda
Lillian is a gender, human rights and women’s rights advocate. She pioneered and established networks including the National Forum of People living with HIV Networks in Uganda (NAFOPHANU) and the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) – an advocacy network that has created a dent in the international, regional and national response. She has been at the forefront of challenging gender norms, gender-based and domestic violence that act as structural barriers to an AIDS-free generation. In addition to sitting on numerous boards, she also chairs the Gender Technical Working Group under the Uganda AIDS Commission. Between 2015 and 2016, Lillian was a member of the Conference Coordinating Committee for the International AIDS Conference 2016 representing ICWEA as an International Partner. Lillian is the 2016 Uganda HIV & AIDS Leadership Award Winner, 2015 Justice Makers Award Winner, 2014 International Community of Women Living with HIV Inaugural Sisterhood Award Winner and 2012 Maryhill High School Old Girls Association (MOGA) Award Winner for her enthusiasm to maintain the self-esteem of women living with HIV in Eastern Africa.
Executive Director, Health Global Access Project (Health GAP), U.S./Uganda
sia Russell has been a leader in the fight against HIV for over 20 years, first as a community organizer and treatment activist in Philadelphia, and ultimately as part of the group who founded Health Global Access Project (Health GAP) in 1999, serving as the Director of International Policy until 2014. As Executive Director of Health GAP, Asia is responsible for strengthening and expanding Health GAP’s programmatic work, including in East and Southern Africa, while continuing to lead international policy campaigns that secure real change for communities. She is currently based in Kampala, Uganda, where she works with a coalition of LGBTI organizations and allies in the local human rights, HIV, and sexual and reproductive health and rights spaces, among others. Through this work she aims to push for bold action by the Ugandan and donor governments on AIDS and health funding and policies, fight homophobic and stigmatizing laws, and build the capacity of activist and other civil society networks.
Rebecca Gomperts, MD, MPP, PhD
Founder and Director, Women on Waves/Women on Web, Netherlands
Rebecca Gomperts is the founder and Director of Women on Waves and Women on Web. She was inspired to start Women on Waves after encountering many women in South America who suffered greatly due to lack of access to reproductive health services and safe, legal abortions. In response to a growing number of help emails from women around the world, Rebecca founded Women on Web, an online medical abortion service in 2005. The service supports women living in countries where safe abortion is not available in order to obtain information and access to abortion pills. She also wrote a novel “Zeedrift” and has published many articles and essays. She has received a number of awards for her work in the safe abortion space and was part of Women Deliver 100, the organization’s list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women in 2011, and was named one of Foreign Policy’s leading global thinkers in 2015.
Executive Director, Mozambican Association for Family Development (AMODEFA), Mozambique
Santos Simione is the Executive Director of the Mozambican Association for Family Development (AMODEFA), the oldest Mozambican organization dedicated to SRHR. He has worked to design and manage SRHR and community-based HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment through his support on projects for more than 15 years. He is an activist and is involved with the training of trainers on sexual and reproductive rights, responding to key populations’ rights and needs, creating awareness and spurring advocacy. He has a successful track record in strengthening civil society organizations and activists in support of SRHR, key populations and people living with HIV/AIDS through his experience as a trainer of trainers on gender equality, gender identity, sexual rights, HIV/AIDS, comprehensive sexuality education and key population-friendly service provisions, amongst others.
National Chairperson, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), South Africa
Sibongile Tshabalala is the National Chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), working on the day-to-day political decision making at the organization. She is also a social justice activist working on health and rights issues affecting womxn and the poor, and is openly and proudly living with HIV after being diagnosed in 2000 after a long and severe illness. In 2012, she was elected as the Provincial Chairperson of TAC Gauteng and worked as a district organizer, and in 2009 was a member of the TAC Vosloorus branch in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Her leadership and voice on HIV/AIDS has helped raise awareness at local and international platforms, including the International AIDS Society Conference.
Executive Director, Amnesty International South Africa
Shenilla Mohamed is the Executive Director for Amnesty International South Africa. She previously worked as the South Africa Director for Oxfam Great Britain, Deputy Director of the BBC Trust African Media Initiative, Principal Advisor for the Hivos-International Media-Dfid Program on Governance and Media in Zimbabwe and Africa Director for OutRight Action International in New York. She is a journalist, editor and human rights activist and defender, and her career spans over three decades. She has a strong understanding of the Middle East and the issues facing this region after spending seven years working in the Gulf Region as Bureau Chief for the Gulf News and previously serving as Europe Middle East Editor for Inter Press Service.
Journalist, International Center For Journalists (ICFJ) Knight Fellow & Former Executive Editor, CNN-News18, India
Anubha Bhonsle is an award-winning journalist and author of "Mother, Where's My Country?" – a book reporting from Manipur, a state in India’s north-eastern region affected by multiple insurgencies. She has reported on politics, gender, conflict and development issues. She is an International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Knight Fellow, leading efforts to amplify and improve coverage of gender and social justice issues across newsrooms. She provides editorial, storytelling and strategic support. Anubha led #GenderAnd at The Indian Express and helped set up #Grit at The Wire. Formerly, as Executive Editor at CNN-News18, she hosted prime time shows. She also led the team of the award-winning Citizen Journalist Show on CNN-IBN (now known as CNN-News18) that redefined public interest journalism. Her work has appeared in national and international news outlets, including Scroll.in, The Hindu, The New York Times, Wilson Centre and Women Under Siege. She was a 2015 Fulbright Humphrey Fellow and can be reached at @anubhabhonsle across social networks.
Staff Writer, Science, U.S.
Jon Cohen is a staff writer with Science and has been published widely in other magazines and newspapers. He has also published four nonfiction books on scientific topics. He worked as a senior editor at the Washington City Paper from 1986 to 1990, the same year he began writing for Science. He has written for the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Technology Review, Outside, Slate, Wired, Surfer and many other publications. Jon specializes in biomedicine, and has long focused on HIV/AIDS, other infectious diseases, immunology, vaccines and global health. He has also reported extensively on genetics, primate research, evolution, bioterrorism, research funding, ethics, reproductive biology, credit battles and the media itself. In 2016, he coordinated a multi-media project on efforts to end the AIDS epidemics with Science, PBS NewsHour, BuzzFeed and UCTV. He was later awarded an Emmy for News & Documentary for the six-part series called “The End of AIDS?” His articles twice have been selected for the Best American Science and Nature Writing (2008 and 2011). His books and stories have also won awards from the National Association of Science Writers, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Global Health Council, the Pan American Health Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, the Treatment Action Group and the Gaia Vaccine Foundation.
Co-founder and General Coordinator, Gestos & Regional Director, Latin American and Caribbean Council of AIDS Organizations, Brazil
Alessandra Nilo is the Co-founder and General Coordinator of Gestos – HIV, Communication and Gender, an organization based in Recife, Brazil, where she lives. She is a journalist specializing in communication and health, and holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations. Ms. Nilo has strived to promote the integration of global SRHR policies into a multi-sector development platform for fighting AIDS at the national level, and has dedicated her time to improving and increasing women’s influence on AIDS policy decision-making processes at local, national and international levels. She has represented civil society in the official Brazilian national delegations to the United Nations since UNGASS-AIDS 2001, including for the past 10 years during the Millennium Development Goals, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Population and Development and the Sustainable Development Goals' official meetings. She is currently co-leading the campaign Women Won’t Wait – Stop AIDS & Violence Against Women & Girls and is the Regional Director of LACCASO, the Latin American and Caribbean Council of AIDS Organizations. Notwithstanding, Ms. Nilo has an interdisciplinary professional career as she has also worked as a film director and screenwriter. She has used communication as one of the main instruments in the fight against AIDS.
Phindile Andile Nhleko
Coordinator, Swaziland Network of Young Positives (SNYP+), eSwatini
Phindile Andile Nhleko leads a movement of young people living with HIV in Swaziland by coordinating young people’s activities. The aim of the movement is to amplify the voices of young people living with HIV in Swaziland in order to increase access to services related to HIV, TB and sexual and reproductive health. It also works to create and sustain a unified body of Swaziland Network of Young Positives (SNYP+) membership that works together with one voice to ensure a positive image of young people living with HIV/AIDS in Swaziland and advocate for programs and policies that ensure quality of life for young people affected by HIV. She has worked for the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV (SWANNEPHA) and Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS). She is a Y+ member who manages the implementation of the READY+ project in Swaziland and is the main mentor for READY+. She is currently studying psychology so that she can be able to support young people living with HIV who have psychological issues.
Dutch Youth Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Netherlands
Melodi Tamarzians is currently the Dutch Youth Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and has a legal background in health as a human right. Within this role she talks to various young people around the world about their struggles and successes when it comes to SRHR. She uses the best practices as inspiration for other countries and her own government in the Netherlands. Moreover, she attends UN spaces in New York and Geneva where she advocates for meaningful youth participation and youth-friendly SRHR services. Her main focuses are access to safe abortion and access to youth-friendly SRHR in refugee settings. During her term she also travelled to Georgia and Armenia to get some context on the issues around HIV/AIDS and the struggles of 'EURASIA' countries.
Director General, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), U.K.
Alvaro Bermejo is the Director-General of IPPF, a role he began in March 2018. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in global federations, working across HIV and AIDS, humanitarian issues and health policy. Before joining IPPF, Alvaro was the Executive Director of the Survive & Thrive portfolio at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and was Executive Director at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance where he oversaw its rapid growth and expansion, and led a team which achieved significant policy influence.
Executive Director, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, U.K.
A leading actor in the HIV response, Christine Stegling has worked for over 20 years in international development, human rights and HIV. Before becoming the Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance she joined the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) as its Executive Director in 2013. Prior to that, she was a senior advisor on human rights and the greater involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (the Alliance), as well as Associate Director of the Alliance’s HIV Best Practice Unit. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2009, she worked in Botswana for 10 years, initially for the Ministry of Health, then as a lecturer at the University of Botswana, and for eight years as the director of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) – a current linking organization of the Alliance. Christine was also a member of Botswana’s National AIDS Council and a member of the Botswana Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
President/CEO, Women Deliver, U.S.
Katja Iversen is the President/CEO of Women Deliver – a leading global advocate for investment in gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, with a specific focus on maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Iversen, an internationally recognized expert on development, advocacy and communications, has more than 25 years of experience working in NGOs, corporates and United Nation agencies. Previously, she held the position as Chief of Strategic Communication and Public Advocacy with UNICEF, a position she came to after almost six years of leading the team responsible for advocacy and communication on reproductive health with UNFPA. She holds a master’s degree in communications, bachelor's degree in public administration and certificates in management, conflict resolution, and international development. Iversen has worked in global development for more than 20 years and has an extensive network within the UN, development communities, and global media. She has counseled and trained multiple Fortune 500 executives on cross cultural management and cross cultural communication. She is also a sought lecturer and speaker.
Women Deliver Young Leader and Generation Now Core Group Member, Egypt
Nana Abudelsoud was motivated by patriarchal structures in her community to question the nature of gender roles and violence from a young age. She studied English and Italian at Ain Shams University in Cairo, and during that time she volunteered with Better World, carrying out an awareness campaign against sexual harassment with the NGO. She also studied fertility and its social role in rural households while living in India. After relocating to Cairo, Nana resumed her work as a freelance interpreter, working closely with scholars and journalists on topics including sexual harassment and domestic violence. Since the Egyptian uprising, Nana became increasingly interested in social work and civil society. She began working for an Etijah, an NGO focusing on youth and development projects, including issuing national identity cards for women and conducting education on sexual and reproductive health. She now works as a SRHR Consultant at Ikhtyar: Collective Feminist Group and a Technical Officer at Tadwein: Gender Research Center.