The SAAF Board
SAAF is governed by an independent multi-agency Board which consists of representatives from international NGOs, donor governments and individuals with relevant experience and technical expertise. The Board provides strategic direction and oversight of the fund. Following an update of the Board terms of reference in 2017, six new members joined the Board in 2018 to replace members whose tenure had ended. You can read about the Board members below.
Manuelle Hurwitz - Director, Programmes Division, IPPF
position on the board: Chair
Prior to her current position, Manuelle was the Director, Institutional Delivery. She led on the delivery of restricted funded projects as well as health information systems and supply chain management. She has led IPPF’s abortion strategy and programmes and established the Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative in 2007. From 2001 to 2007, Manuelle was Senior Programme Officer in IPPF’s Innovation Fund where she managed a programme on youth and sexual and reproductive health. Before joining the Central Office, Manuelle worked for nine years in IPPF’s South Asia Regional Office as Programme Advisor.
Manuelle has been chairing SAAF since 2012 and is currently a member of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and UNFPA RH Supplies Programme steering committees.
I am hugely privileged to have joined the SAAF Board and to be the current chair. I cannot think of another or better mechanism to address all dimensions of safe abortion programming through concerted actions led by local organizations. I am proud that SAAF has the unique and incredibly important feature of unapologetically focusing on abortion, bringing together programme managers, providers, advocates and activists at global and local levels.
Felogene Anumo - Coordinator, Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Position on the board: Advocate/Activist on Abortion Rights
Felogene is passionate about using her creativity, politics and intellect to strengthen feminist movements to build collective power. Her roots in feminist movement building were planted at the University of Nairobi where she served as Women Students’ Chairperson. Felogene has authored “Feminist Leadership and Development Curriculum for Adolescent Girls” and her written contributions have appeared in Open Democracy 50:50, Gender and Development Journal and Development – Society for International Development (SID) flagship journal.
The distribution of resources is inherently political and today more than ever, resources are required to safeguard every individual’s inalienable right to decide over their bodies. I am proud to be a member of the SAAF Board which is deeply committed to ensure that more and better quality funding is available for local movements from the Global South to lead vital, deep, transformative, long-term and sustainable work that ensures and protects women’s right to access legal and safe abortion services.
Camilla Holst Salvesen - Senior adviser, Global Health Section, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, (Norad)
Position on the board: Donor representative
Camilla is a senior adviser at the Global Health section in Norad, working with sexual and reproductive health and rights and safe and legal abortion in particular. Previous professional experience includes Norwegian MFA and UNFPA.
Ever since I wrote my master’s thesis on the change of the abortion law in Nicaragua 10 years ago, I have been interested in the issue of safe and legal abortion which is why I am so happy to work with SAAF as a member of the Board.
Génesis Luigi - Consultant, IPPF Western HEMISPHERE region
Position on the board: Representative of the Host organization (IPPF)
Génesis is a Venezuelan psychologist, and a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate. With a background in behavioral and social psychology, she has five years experience in the non-profit sector through project management and technical advise for organizations aimed at improving the health of women and young people. She has been awarded highly competitive fellowships from Women Deliver and Atlas Corps in their leadership programs. Her work has been featured in international media including Al Jazeera, Ms. Magazine, and News Deeply, where she was named in 2017 as one of the “9 Experts to Watch on Family Planning”.
I wanted to join the SAAF board to use my expertise to support organizations that work for the right to decide and make abortion accessible and free from stigma within the healthcare sector.
Pushpa Joshi - Youth Champion, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP)
Position on the board: Activist on Abortion Rights
Pushpa is a young feminist activist with a more than five years of hands on experience in the field of Sexual and Reproductive health rights. She has worked on various issues linked to sexual and reproductive health rights, safe abortion advocacy, gender, sexuality and young women’s leadership. She has experience in working with grassroots communities and is currently involved in the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership as a youth champion and at LOOM as a program officer. She is a strong advocate of gender equality and SRHR.
Safe abortion is one of the issues I am passionate to advocate for. Through SAAF, I am being able to contribute to the grassroots activism on safe abortion rights which makes me immensely happy.
Kelly Blanchard - President, Ibis Reproductive Health
Position on the board: Representative of an International Organisation working in the field of abortion
Kelly provides overall strategic leadership for Ibis, a research organization with partnerships in more than 30 countries. Before joining Ibis, Kelly worked at the Population Council and was a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana. Kelly’s research has focused on improving contraception and abortion technologies; expanding access to and quality of abortion services; and documenting the impact of policies on reproductive health. She believes research can catalyze change and that partnerships with advocates, healthcare providers, and policymakers can ensure research questions are relevant and the findings will lead to real change.
SAAF provides critical resources for innovative work to improve access to safe abortion. It is an honor to be part of one of a very few funding organizations focused on abortion rights and services, and helping to build grassroots organization that can improve access to high-quality information and care.
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng - Lead Consultant/Founder, Nalane for Reproductive Justice
Position on the board: Abortion Provider
Tlaleng is a medical doctor in South Africa and an expert in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Her areas of impact have been in clinical services, health policy, advocacy, ethics of care and content production for public health communication. She has been recognised as one of the 120under40 new generation leaders in family planning by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was named one of 200 Young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian in 2016 and the Most influential South African in Science and technology 2017. She sits on the Global advisory board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing and the country co-lead for Global Doctors for Choice.
The work of SAAF is important and I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve with members from such varied backgrounds to ensure that the efforts made benefit the most marginalized women and girls.