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Girls Not Brides appoints new Chief Executive Officer to lead global partnership to end child marriage

LONDON, 3 July 2019—Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage today announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Faith Mwangi-Powell will join the secretariat in London in September 2019 following the departure earlier this year of former Executive Director Lakshmi Sundaram. As a champion of gender equality, women’s and girls’ rights, Dr. Mwangi-Powell has a wealth of experience in the development sector, in movement building, and in strategic and organisational leadership.  Dr. Mwangi-Powell joins the organisation from Nairobi, Kenya, where she is currently the Global Director for The Girl Generation (TGG), a DFID-funded project to end female genital mutilation (FGM) led by Options Consultancy Services.

Prior to her role with TGG, Dr. Mwangi-Powell held several leadership positions including founding Executive Director of the African Palliative Care Association, a membership-based organisation working to end pain and suffering for people with life-limiting illnesses across Africa. She has a strong public health background, with specialist knowledge in sexual reproductive health, palliative care, HIV and AIDS, advocacy, human rights, and gender equality. With her previous advocacy, financing and palliative care work with the Open Society Foundations in New York, Dr. Mwangi-Powell has a firm grounding in international fora in addition to her regional expertise.

Mabel van Oranje, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Girls Not Brides, said: “Faith Mwangi-Powell has a lengthy and impressive track record of building civil society alliances around complex issues like palliative care and FGM. I am excited that our global partnership will benefit from her strategic leadership and advocacy skills. I look forward to Faith strengthening the work of our member organisations and our secretariat, as well as our collaborative efforts with governments, UN organisations, media and local change-makers, as we accelerate our efforts to end child marriage.”

Dr. Mwangi-Powell commented: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Girls Not Brides family as the new CEO. Girls Not Brides is an organisation I not only respect but also greatly admire, and I share members’ conviction that every girl has the right to lead the life she chooses. I’m keen to bring my passion and experience of working at a regional, pan-African and global level to bear as we support the diverse needs of the growing Girls Not Brides membership.

“I have seen just how harmful gender-discriminatory practices like child marriage can be for girls, their communities and nations through my work on FGM,” she continued. “I’m passionate about creating real and lasting change in girls’ lives, particularly those who are most vulnerable and at risk; joining the Girls Not Brides team means I can continue that mission.”

Over 650 million women alive today were married as children. Child marriage violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity and exposes them to violence throughout their lives. Evidence shows that ending child marriage will catalyse global efforts to improve health, education and address poverty. Civil society organisations play a critical part in ending child marriage, especially those working at the grassroots level with girls, their families and their communities. Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1,200 civil society organisations from over 100 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.

Dr. Rachel Yates will continue to head up the organisation as Interim Executive Director until the autumn.

For more information please contact: Fiona Sinclair, Head of Communications on media@girlsnotbrides.org / +44 7741 148331

About Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage

Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1200 civil society organisations from over 100 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.

Members are based throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. We share the conviction that every girl has the right to lead the life that she chooses and that, by ending child marriage, we can achieve a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all.

Follow us on Twitter @GirlsNotBrides or Facebook /GirlsNotBrides