IPPF Names Sonal Mehta As South Asia Regional Director

NEW DELHI || International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has appointed Sonal Mehta as the new Regional Director of the IPPF South Asia Regional Office, an official statement said on Monday. She will be taking charge of the new role at IPPF in January 2020.

In her new role, she will be responsible for leadership and overall management of the regional office in Bangkok and sub-office in Delhi, advancing the strategic framework and reaching its ambitious goals over the next few years.

With fast-changing landscape of political and economic support on SRHR and Women issues as well and internal reforms at IPPF, Sonal is joining the organization at an exciting time.

Announcing the appointment, IPPF’s Director-General, Alvaro Bermejo said, “We are glad to have someone of Sonal Mehta’s calibre and experience to lead the South Asia Region office. She has exhibited exceptional leadership quality in her previous role and is well recognised among governments, donors, civil societies and multilateral forums. It is our pleasure to have her leading the team.”

With over three decades of experience in sexual health and development, Sonal Mehta is an outstanding leader and brings wide experience of community engagement, large scale programmatic management, which includes inception and advancement of multi-dimensional developmental programs in public health and human rights.

Previously she was associated with HIV/AIDS Alliance India as the Chief Executive Officer where she led various programs emphasizing on marginalized populations including men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender, sex workers, people who inject drugs (PWIDs), youth, and people living with HIV and TB.

Speaking on her appointment, Sonal Mehta said, “I am delighted to be joining IPPF as the next Regional Director for the South Asia Regional Office. IPPF is a unique organization with its long history of more than 70 years of serving the people especially women and most vulnerable, along with always being at the forefront of Sexual and Reproductive rights movement. I am looking forward to being a part of this exceptional group of volunteers, team members from SARO and Member Associations and the activists from the field to continue the fight for justice and equality”.

Prior to HIV/AIDS Alliance India, Mehta was the Challenge Fund Manager in the Department for International Development program that contributed to many path-breaking interventions in India, including bringing oral substitution therapy for people who inject drugs.

She also has experience working within the Government’s AIDS Control Program at state and national level in India. She has done her international masters in Practicing Management from McGill and completed her master’s in science in International Management from Lancaster, UK.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is an advocate of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for all. IPPF comes with a proud history of 65 years of achievement. It is a Federation of 141 Member Associations working in 152 countries, with another 24 Partners working in 19 countries.

In South Asia Region, IPPF works with nine member associations Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Each association is rooted in the culture of its country, providing locally relevant services in a highly challenging context of extreme poverty, gender inequity, restrictive laws, socio-religious barriers, and vulnerability to natural calamities.

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