Accomplished International Expert and Advocate Leading Women and Girls Programs for Over Two Decades
New York, 11 April 2022 | Women Deliver, a leading global advocate for gender equality and women’s health and rights, announced today that Dr. Maliha Khan has been appointed as the organization’s next President and CEO, effective April 4. Dr. Khan most recently served as Chief Programmes Officer of Malala Fund. She succeeds Kathleen Sherwin, who has served as Interim President and CEO for Women Deliver since June 2020.
As President and CEO of Women Deliver, Dr. Khan will work closely with the staff and Board of Directors, and will lead the implementation of the 2021-2025 Strategic Framework to support Women Deliver’s mission to champion gender equality and the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities.
“I am thrilled to join Women Deliver as President and CEO. I am an ardent feminist and have been working to advance the rights of girls and women, and to implement gender transformative initiatives, throughout my career. I am looking forward to continuing Women Deliver’s important role as a champion of gender equality advocates to realize the rights of all girls and women, not least their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This space is more important than ever to bridge the distance and disconnect that the world has faced over the last two years,” said Dr. Maliha Khan.
At Malala Fund, Dr. Khan led the strategic direction and effective delivery of the Fund’s programmatic work to ensure that all girls have access to 12 years of free, safe, and quality education. This was achieved by increasing governments’ financing of education and removing policy and social barriers. Dr. Khan has worked extensively on programs that change social norms and perceptions to boost women and girls’ empowerment. She has also led program quality, impact measurement, and knowledge management functions at CARE USA and Oxfam America.
Kathleen Sherwin, current Interim President and CEO of Women Deliver, will support the CEO transition period, and serve as Executive Advisor through June 2022.
“During this pivotal and exciting time for the organization, we know Dr. Khan will bring a wealth of experience, insight, and passion to Women Deliver. I am looking forward to passing the baton to her and believe that Women Deliver will be in great hands,” said Kathleen Sherwin, outgoing Interim President & CEO.
Women Deliver also recently expanded the Board of Directors and appointed a new Chair, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. These additions are part of a commitment to representative leadership that embraces new and diverse perspectives and expertise.
“Dr. Maliha Khan’s invaluable achievements and lifelong commitment to gender equality perfectly align with Women Deliver’s core mission. I look forward to working with her to realize our shared mission to make a more gender-equal future a reality for all,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the new Women Deliver Board Chair.
Women Deliver also recently announced that the organization will host the Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023) on July 17-20, 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda. WD2023 will convene more than 6,000 leaders on-site and an additional 200,000 participants online — including advocates, academics, activists, and journalists from around the world. WD2023 will provide a forum to improve policies and programs, and set the stage for political and financial commitments that advance gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Conference will provide a robust civic space for feminist action, organizing, and mobilization, and, for the first time, will be held in Africa.
About Women Deliver:
Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities. Our advocacy drives investment — political and financial — in the lives of girls and women worldwide. We harness evidence and unite diverse voices to spark commitment to gender equality. And we get results. Anchored in sexual and reproductive health, we advocate for the rights of girls and women across every aspect of their lives.
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At Malala Fund, Dr. Khan led the strategic direction and effective delivery of the Fund’s programmatic work to ensure that all girls have access to 12 years of free, safe, and quality education. This was achieved by increasing governments’ financing of education and removing policy and social barriers. Maliha serves on Care International UK’s Board of Trustees, and she is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.
Maliha is an international expert in program design and performance, learning, and accountability, with a focus on the empowerment of girls and women. She has designed rights-based programs focused on girls and women, taught as a professor of gender studies, and implemented women’s programs in marginalized regions of Pakistan.
Dr Khan has worked extensively on creating and implementing frameworks for difficult-to-measure concepts such as gender empowerment, attitude and perception change, and resilience. She has wide-ranging experience designing and implementing complex multi-country systems for large organizations and programs, and has also led program quality and measurement departments at CARE USA and Oxfam America. Maliha has a keen interest in the use and ethics of digital technology and new forms of data in international development, and she oversaw Oxfam’s “Responsible Data Policy,” the first policy of its kind in any development organization.
Maliha also founded and led a start-up consulting firm that specializes in supporting clients in better decision-making through innovative information and measurement systems. She has served as a long-term consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Development Bank. Prior to her international development work, Maliha spent many years in academia, as an Associate Professor of Sustainable Development at World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute and at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan.
Maliha is from Pakistan, where she started her career implementing development projects. She has a PhD from the State University of New York and an MA from Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad in Social Anthropology.