Girls Not Brides project announces Advisory Committee and new Global Coordinator

04 AUGUST 2012 - Girls Not Brides have announced the formation of a new Advisory Committee, chaired by H.E. Mabel van Oranje, and a new new Global Coordinator, Ms Lakshmi Sundaram , who will take over from the interim Coordinator, Marianna Brungs.

Lakshmi Sundaram currently oversees policy, advocacy, communications and resource mobilisation activities at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously, Ms Sundaram was Associate Director of the World Economic Forum's Global Health Initiative, and was deeply involved in a range of global health partnerships, including the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Roll Back Malaria initiative and the Stop TB partnerships. Her past experience includes setting up and running a telecommunications project in Rwanda to use mobile phones to support the management of HIV/AIDS in the country. She is also a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Ms Sundaram says she is looking forward to working closely with Girls Not Brides members and partners to boost efforts to end child marriage around the world.

Advisory Committee

At the same time, an Advisory Committee for Girls Not Brides was announced to ensure its overall strategy, policies and direction. Mabel van Oranje has been named Chair of the Advisory Committee and she welcomes fellow Committee members:

  • Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, YWCA
  • Margaret Hempel, Ford Foundation
  • Anju Malhotra, UNICEF
  • Theresa Shaver, White Ribbon Alliance

The Advisory Committee aims to provide guidance on work-plans and strategies, advising on major organisational decisions, and reviewing the annual budget and financials. Girls Not Brides was founded by The Elders, a group of independent leaders working together for peace and human rights.

A recent op-ed was published in the Washington Post of 1 August by Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu of The Elders. In ‘Early marriage robs children of their opportunities’, the Elders call for greater technical and financial support for programmes to end child marriage and urge the U.S. government to make eliminating child marriage a foreign policy goal.