11th July, 2019
Former New Zealand Prime Minister and first female United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark has been appointed as Board Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) with effect from 11 July 2019.
The appointment was officially confirmed at the PMNCH’s 23rd Board meeting in The Hague today.
A well-respected global leader and public figure, Clark champions women’s leadership and is a strong voice on sustainable development, climate action, gender equality, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and HIV.
She serves on several advisory boards and commissions, including in the capacity of Chair of the Advisory Board of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report.
In June 2019, she assumed the Chairpersonship of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Clark proactively supports the health and rights of girls and women in the board of the advocacy organization Women Deliver and co-chairs The Lancet-WHO-UNICEF Commission on Child Health and Wellbeing.
PMNCH chairs are appointed for a two-year term.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet and the international advocate for women’s and children’s rights Graça Machel have served as previous chairs.
The Board Chair ad interim, the Government of India, represented by the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Preeti Sudan, will resume as co-Chair.
Preeti Sudan, outgoing PMNCH Board chair, representing the Government of India said: “On behalf of the PMNCH Board, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Clark as Board Chair. She is an outstanding leader, an experienced UN administrator and a gifted strategist with a global reputation for advocating for sustainable development, peace, gender equality and inclusiveness.”
Helen Clark, incoming PMNCH Board Chair said: “It is an honour to be selected as the Chair of the PMNCH Board and to follow in the footsteps of previous Board Chairs, Preeti Sudan, Michelle Bachelet and Graça Machel, who have made exceptional efforts to position the organization. PMNCH has become the key partnership for multi-stakeholder collaboration in the field of health and well-being for women, children and adolescents, fostering excellence in analysis, alignment, advocacy and accountability.”
PMNCH Executive Director Helga Fogstad said: “Helen Clark is an excellent choice to lead the Board of PMNCH. The Partnership and its unparalleled work across a diverse range of constituencies will be in very good hands. I am confident that she will build on PMNCH’s recent successes to ensure the Partnership continues to excel in its mission. I am greatly looking forward to working with her so that together we could take PMNCH up to the next level.
PMNCH is the world’s largest alliance for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, bringing together partners from across the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities, as well as health-influencing sectors.
The Partnership provides a platform for organisations to align objectives, strategies and resources, and agree on priority interventions to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. This work is carried out within the framework of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage.