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Adolescents & HIV : The role of faith communities in supporting adolescents' prevention, treatment, care and leadership in the HIV responseSide Event to the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA of 76)Thursday 23 September 2021

Biographies of Speakers

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Dr. Shannon Hader

Deputy Executive Directors, Programme, UNAIDS 

Shannon Hader joined UNAIDS in March 2019 as the Deputy Executive Director, Programme, and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. She leads UNAIDS’ efforts in promoting an expanded and integrated United Nations system response to HIV at the country, regional and global levels, providing the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services.

A public health physician, her career has reached across research, programme, policy and politics. Dr Hader holds a degree in biological sciences from Stanford University and doctor of medicine and master of public health degrees from Columbia University. She is board certified in internal medicine, paediatrics and infectious diseases.

In 2014, Dr Hader was appointed Director of the Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), providing technical leadership, funding, evaluation and programme support to help to achieve an AIDS-free generation worldwide.

Prior to that position, Dr Hader served as Vice-President and Director for the Center for Health Systems and Solutions at the Futures Group (now Palladium). She also held the position of Senior Deputy Director, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration, for the District of Columbia, United States of America, from 2007 to 2010 and served as Director of CDC–Zimbabwe from 2003 to 2006.

Dr Hader brings to the position more than 20 years of international experience in global health, from responding to HIV and infectious diseases to strengthening health systems. She has served in key health leadership roles, emphasizing accountability, scale and impact for sustainable responses.

Dr. Angeli Achrekar

Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, PEPFAR 

Dr. Angeli Achrekar serves as the Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.

Dr. Angeli Achrekar serves as the Principal Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary level position. As such, she serves as the second in command to the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and supports the daily oversight, coordination, leadership, management, and implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to ensure that all its activities and resources, including its annual budget of approximately $6 billion in over 50 countries is as impactful, effective, and efficient as possible.

In this role, Dr. Achrekar works with leaders across the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC) and among the seven federal agencies that implement PEPFAR to ensure effective and efficient management, coordination, and program implementation. In addition, she ensures that Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the administration are kept informed on program results. She also acts on behalf of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in her absence. Prior to this current role, she served as PEPFAR’s Chief of Staff and most recently as the Deputy Coordinator for Strategy and Global Health Diplomacy, where she oversaw PEPFAR’s public affairs, policy, and congressional efforts, including PEPFAR’s reauthorization, as well the adolescent girls and young women’s portfolio and the global health diplomacy efforts.

Dr. Achrekar has dedicated her career as a public servant to global HIV/AIDS, women and girls’ health, and global public health development. After working in India and later with UNICEF headquarters on adolescent health, she accepted a position with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2001, where she focused on integrated adolescent health programs and services. She led the interagency and multidisciplinary National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health, which created strategic partnerships between the health and education sectors comprising over 100 organizations, agencies, and professional associations in the U.S. to improve the health, safety, and well-being of youth ages 10-24. Since 2003, Achrekar has been working on PEPFAR’s global HIV/AIDS efforts. In 2005, she went to South Africa to help local governments plan and implement a rapid assessment of drug use and sexual HIV risk patterns among injecting and non-injecting drug users and sex workers in Durban, Pretoria, and Cape Town. After serving as a Country Officer, she became the Senior Public Health Manager, supporting cross-cutting, system-wide sustainability activities and strategies in CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS. In 2011, she joined the U.S. Department of State and helped lead the conceptualization and development of Saving Mothers, Giving Life as well as facilitated the implementation of this important program – a public-private partnership that impacts maternal and neonatal health and HIV services.

Achrekar holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Public Health from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She studied Spanish while living in Santiago, Chile, and in Mendoza, Argentina. She has lived and worked in numerous countries and speaks multiple languages.

Setting the Scene

Dr. Chewe Luo

Director HIV, UNICEF

Dr. Chewe Luo was appointed Associate Director, Programme Division, and Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section at UNICEF in April 2016.

A paediatrician and Tropical Health Specialist, prior to this appointment she served as Technical Team Leader for children and AIDS country programme scale-up, and Senior Programme Adviser on HIV and Maternal and Child Health in the Programme Division.

She has nearly 20 years of experience in HIV/AIDS and child health as a clinician and researcher at the University Teaching hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, and as clinician in the UK. She has worked with UNICEF at country, regional and headquarters levels.

Dr. Luo is a Zambian national. She holds a Medical Degree and a Master of Medicine in Paediatrics from the University of Zambia School of Medicine, and a Master of Science in Tropical Paediatrics and a PhD from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Challenge in Front of us

Franklin Wanyama

Youth Advocate, Kenya

24 year old young adult, who has lived with HIV since birth. A peer mentor and OTZ champion. Passionate advocate for HIV prevention, retention in care, viral suppression, ending HIV associated Stigma and U=U.

Advocacy achieved by one on one peer mentorship at the facility and community and social media platforms.

Facebook: Franklin Wanyama (Mr President)

Twitter handle: @Mr President


You tube Channel: Franklin wanyama

Lessons Learned

Gladys Mukaratirwa

Programme Coordinator at Chiedza Community Based Orphan Welfare

Gladys Mukaratirwa is founding member and Director for Chiedza Community Welfare Trust (CCWT). CCWT is a community- based organisation working in Mutasa district in Manicaland Zimbabwe, which works with programs in Paediatric and Adolescent and HIV, Orphaned and vulnerable children, SRHR, Women and girls’ health, Menstrual health management, Women and girl’s empowerment and Nutritional support. Gladys Mukaratirwa originally trained as a high school teacher in Home Economics and taught at St David’s Girls High from 1987-2008. During her tenure at St Davids’s Bonda she found her passion empowering grassroots women from neighbouring villages and hence she founded Bonda Women Craft, an organisation which helped women produce arts and crafts and sold them on behalf of women. Unfortunately, during that time the HIV pandemic was rife and most women passed on and left child headed families which left Gladys and her colleagues the burden of taking care of child headed families and the birth of Chiedza. One of Chiedza’s main focus is SRHR, this was to fight the pandemic and reduce the rates of early child marriages. Gladys holds a Bachelor of Education in Family consumer sciences, Master of Education in Human Nutrition and Diploma in Community Development and Women Empowerment. Gladys is passionate about advocating for, children, SRHR, Women Empowerment and improving the livelihoods of grassroots people.  She has a unique mixture of trade qualifications, work experience and the desire to deliver excellence in whatever role she assumes within the space

Anthony Mtali Ngwira

Country Programs Coordinator, New Apostolic Church Relief Organization

Anthony is a 52 year old, successful and talented projects manager, management strategist, consultant, cooperative development practitioner and a business manager, whose experience span over 25 years, through which he has crafted and successfully executed effective management strategies; he has managed projects in areas of livelihoods; health, water and sanitation as well as financial services, he has been involved in monitoring and evaluation of projects, carried out research, designed training programs and conducted trainings for communities, leaders as well as staff in various training areas. He is an experienced community mobiliser. He has successfully been involved in the Business Risks Assessment and development of cooperative businesses. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Management with University of Derby (UK) and a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration with University of Malawi.

Since March, 2017, Anthony has been working as Country Programs Coordinator – New Apostolic Church Relief Organisation (NACRO) in Malawi.With this job he is responsible for overall country management of the Organization which includes coordinating country development projects, conducting research, development of project proposals, implementing, monitoring and evaluating projects, development of strategic plans and budgets, policies, procedures and operating systems, producing operations and financial reports, as well as growing the organisation. With NACRO he has coordinated water and sanitation projects, food security and irrigation projects, solar energy water pumping systems projects, Early Childhood Development Projects, village savings and loans association projects, disaster and relief management projects as well as health projects.

Before NACRO, he worked with Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives in various portfolios and later as General Manager of FINCOOP Savings and Credit Cooperative

He has also been engaged as a consultant by several organisations in areas of business planning, marketing, strategic planning, program evaluations, staff capacity building and other studies.  

Tiffany Riggleman

The Luke Commission

Tiffany Riggleman serves on the executive leadership team of The Luke Commission (TLC) in Eswatini and as technical director for TLC. Working with a local team, she seeks to build robust systems, responsive strategies, and detailed trainings to empower compassionate efforts to move toward epidemic control of HIV/AIDS.

Closing & the way forward

Sandy Thurman

Chief Strategy Officer, Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, US Department of State (Washington, DC, USA)

Sandy serves as the Chief Strategy Officer in the United States Department of State’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy. In this role, she works closely with Ambassador-at-Large Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Representative of Global Health Diplomacy, to coordinate all of the U.S. government’s global HIV/AIDS activities to achieve an AIDS-free generation, ensuring transparency, accountability, and impact.

Throughout her career, Ms. Thurman has held important leadership positions, including leading the Office of National AIDS Policy under President Bill Clinton; Presidential Envoy on HIV/AIDS; Senior Advisor for Strategy and Development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as Director of both the Interfaith Health Program and the Joseph W. Blount Center for Health and Human Rights at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She also served as Director of Advocacy Programs for the Task Force for Child Survival and Development at the Carter Center and Executive Director of AID Atlanta, the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the South. She also serves on the faculty at the Rollins School of Public Health and on numerous nonprofit boards and committees. Ms. Thurman has an M.A. in Community Pastoral Care and HIV/AIDS from St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya and a B.S. from Mercer University.

Suki Beavers

Director, Gender Equality, Human Rights and Community Engagement 

Suki Beavers is the Director of the UNAIDS Gender Equality, Human Rights and Community Engagement Department. Ms Beavers brings to UNAIDS a wealth of experience in women’s rights and empowerment, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and human rights, including in the context of HIV. She has worked with and for communities and a range of women’s rights and social justice organizations. Prior to joining UNAIDS, she served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Women and the Law in Ottawa, Canada, where she spearheaded efforts to develop high-quality legal analysis and law reform strategies to advance women’s rights and empowerment. In her previous roles with the United Nations Development Programme, Ms Beavers led many global and regional initiatives to advance human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, including in the context of HIV, and the rights and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

During her career, Ms Beavers has lived and worked in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the United States of America and her home country, Canada, and has supported many governments and civil society in a range of development contexts. She holds a master of laws degree in common law with an international human rights specialization.

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