To ensure that the Partnership operates as a strong global network, the collective work of Girls Not Brides members is supported by a secretariat based in London, UK. We also have staff in Delhi, India; Nairobi, Kenya and Mexico City, Mexico.
To contact the Girls Not Brides team, please email info@GirlsNotBrides.org.
Rachel is responsible for catalysing the Girls Not Brides Partnership strategy and ensuring that the Secretariat is supportive and responsive to the broader movement for change. Rachel is responsible for inspiring and developing a high-performing team to ensure that Girls Not Brides can fulfil its mission, live its values and deliver against its goals and targets.
Rachel has over 25 years of international development experience and has worked extensively in Africa and Asia to promote social justice and tackle inequalities, in particular those facing girls and women. Her doctoral thesis, based on research in Ghana, focused on literacy and women’s empowerment.
As Aide to the Executive, Marina supports Girls Not Brides’ Executive Director, Management Team and Board of Trustees to ensure the smooth running of secretariat’s activities, and manages distinct projects.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Marina worked at ActionAid, where she liaised closely with the senior leadership team to manage cross-organisational projects and ensure successful delivery of day-to-day activities. She has previously worked on child marriage programmes in Bangladesh with VSO International.
She holds a History BA from King’s College London and speaks fluent Polish and conversational Russian.
Yvette Kathurima Muhia is the Head of Africa Engagement at Girls Not Brides. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Yvette leads the secretariat’s engagement with African regional and sub-regional intergovernmental institutions working to address child marriage. Yvette also supports Girls Not Brides members in Africa to monitor policy developments relating to child marriage as well as holding governments accountable for their implementation.
Yvette has over 10 years’ experience in programming on women’s rights, advocacy, resource mobilisation, grant management, coordination of regional networks and meeting facilitation. At the global level, Yvette has worked to amplify the voices of African women at the United Nations through the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), and was instrumental in ensuring the voices of African women were included in the 2030 Agenda through the intergovernmental processes of the Open Working Group.
Yvette speaks English, Swahili and basic French.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Mundia worked in Manchester on local and national strategies to tackle gender based violence, specifically FGM and child marriage as well as working on more comprehensive refugee resettlement programmes. She has also conducted extensive research with other organisations to bring social issues pertaining to women/girls and the youth to national attention. Mundia has been involved in the development of complex social/gender indices with the UN and AU, and used these to assist African governments to shape their national policies to balance gender inequalities in the economic, social and political spheres.
Mundia holds an MSc in Development Economics (with Gender Studies) from SOAS and is fluent in English and French.
As Head of Asia Engagement, Shipra is responsible for supporting membership engagement and national partnership development and the secretariat’s work on learning and impact assessment. She is also responsible for developing Girls Not Brides’ engagement strategy in South Asia.
Shipra has sixteen years of experience of working at the local, national as well as regional level in South Asia with grassroots groups, international organisations and the Government of India. With a background in designing programmatic interventions to promote gender equality, Shipra also has extensive experience of alliance building.
Before Girls Not Brides, Shipra worked at Oxfam GB developing a campaign aimed at reducing social acceptance of violence against women in South Asia. Most recently she was working with Room to Read, heading one of their largest state operations in India.
Shipra has a Master of Philosophy in International Law, a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor in Political Science. Shipra is fluent in Hindi/Urdu and English and has a working knowledge of several other South Asian languages.
Divya has thirteen years of experience working at the local, national and international level with grassroots groups and international organisations. While she has worked and led large scale projects on the themes of livelihoods and gender, child rights and youth development, the base of her work has been partnerships strengthening and coalition building.
Prior to Girls Not Brides, Divya has worked at Save the Children and Oxfam GB. Most recently she was working with Pravah, an Indian NGO that is a leading youth development organisation, heading their partnerships work. She has a Masters in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
As Head of Communications, Fiona is responsible for strategic communications for Girls Not Brides, including oversight of brand, media and digital. She leads the communications team, highlighting the work of the partnership and its members across the world.
Fiona has broad communications experience in the international development sector, including roles at Development Initiatives, Oxfam GB, People In Aid (now the CHS Alliance) and as a freelance consultant. She also has nearly a decade of experience in corporate PR and strategic communications for multinational technology clients.
Fiona has a BA (Hons) Modern Languages (French and Spanish) from the University of Oxford.
Yasmin is responsible for developing Girls not Brides’ digital communications strategy and showcasing the work of members, girls and women around the world through storytelling and content.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Yasmin worked at War Child UK where she used digital platforms, multimedia content and stories to raise awareness and mobilise support for children affected by conflict in the Middle East and Africa.
Yasmin has a degree in Politics and French from the University of Bristol. She is fluent in French and is currently learning Arabic.
Ettie supports both digital communications and media. Ettie previously worked at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) across communications and policy advocacy, and before this held roles in finance and education. She also co-runs The Schools Consent Project, a small charity that teaches sexual consent to 11-18 year olds across the UK.
Ettie holds an MSt in English Literature from Oxford University.
Beata is the Head of Finance overseeing the financial, legal and HR operations at Girls Not Brides.
Before joining the team, she was the Finance and Services Manager at The Elders (2008-2014). Her previous roles included the Finance and Executive Manager of the Open Society in London (2004-2008), the Company Secretary and Treasurer of the Inter-University Foundation, Oxford (1996-2004), and the Senior Programme Coordinator of the Stefan Batory Trust, Oxford (2001-2006).
In the early ’90s Beata recruited British lecturers for Polish universities and helped to organise summer schools for young leaders in Poland. She was Deputy Director of the ‘Solidarity’ Foundation in Rzeszow, Poland (1989-1991) responsible for fundraising and contract negotiations. Beata loves gardening and grows her own bonsai.
Vimbai provides support to the Girls Not Brides team and to the Head of Finance and Operations in delivering high quality financial information for both internal and external entities.
Before joining Girls Not Brides, Vimbai worked in the finance department of Refugee Action since 2012. She speaks English and Shona.
As Senior Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, Eugenia is responsible for developing Girls Not Brides engagement strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Eugenia has more than 25 years of experience of working in sexual and reproductive rights and health, gender, HIV, human rights and youth in Latin America with rural, indigenous and marginalized populations. Eugenia has extensive experience in advocacy and alliance building at the national and regional level.
Eugenia has a Masters in Political and Social Studies and a Bachelor in Sociology. Eugenia is based in Mexico.
Ellen leads Girls Not Brides’ strategy on learning for impact and designs initiatives to help inform and advance policies and programmes which seek to end child marriage and support married girls.
Ellen works to highlight solutions being taken to address child marriage in different countries, and to enable members to learn from each other about effective approaches to end the practice.
Prior to this, Ellen worked in the NGO sector in Cambodia, as well as in the human rights departments of the Irish and UK Foreign Ministries. Ellen speaks English, French and Irish, and basic Italian and Spanish.
As Research & Policy Officer, Julie works within the Learning Team to conduct research, highlight solutions and support Girls Not Brides members in their efforts to end child marriage. More specifically, Julie has been working with members and partners to deepen our understanding of child marriage in humanitarian settings and encourage further research and action into this issue. She has also supervised research on the role of religious leaders in efforts to end child marriage.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Julie worked to address violence against women and girls with NGOs and foundations in West Africa and Europe.
Julie is fluent in English, French and Italian, and holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences and Project Management from Sciences Po Rennes, France.
Arwyn supports the Learning Team by tracking child marriage trends globally, fact checking and analysing information on child marriage hot spots, and conducting desk-based research and evidence syntheses, particularly related to integrating solutions for ending child marriage into other sectors.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Arwyn worked for UNDP in Laos and for Marie Stopes International (MSI) in London. Most recently she worked in Ethiopia as a technical writer documenting MSI’s programme and research activities under SIFPO 2, a major USAID funded initiative to strengthen family planning programmes globally. Arwyn is particularly interested in how child marriage intersects with other aspects of development, such as sexual and reproductive health and education.
Arwyn holds an MSc in Population and Development and speaks English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and basic German.
As Head of Operations, Eleanor oversees human resources, operational frameworks, processes and services, organisational culture and team planning.
Eleanor has worked in the charity sector for over 12 years. She was previously Chief Operating Officer at Redthread, a charity working to end youth violence in the UK. She has also worked as director of a programme supporting disadvantaged children in their education and as a consultant at Deloitte.
Eleanor has a History BA from the University of York and a Voluntary Sector Management MSc from Cass Business School.
Charlotte provides day-to-day support for the secretariat; developing and managing relations with service providers and suppliers in addition to coordinating international travel and events for the global partnership.
Charlotte was involved in the organisation and logistical planning of the Girls Not Brides Global Member Meeting held in Casablanca in May 2015.
Laia provides support in the overall planning, organization and logistics of meetings and external events.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, she worked on the organization of several arts-related events, both national and international. Laia holds a degree in International Business, and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Catalan.
Shaheen Hashmat leads on portfolio and project management across the team.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Shaheen worked at Save the Children International as a Global Campaign Officer and as Executive Assistant to the CEO, the former Prime Minister of Denmark.
Her previous work with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service deepened Shaheen’s interest in the links between forced marriage and sexual and reproductive health issues. She has been a vocal campaigner against forced marriage in the UK since 2009, winning the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation’s ‘True Honour’ award in 2016.
Shaheen holds a BA in English with creative writing from Brunel University, and is currently writing a book on the lifelong impact of forced marriage.
As Director of Partnership Development at Girls Not Brides, Leila is responsible for all aspects of member engagement across the partnership. She has extensive experience of working closely with civil society organisations in southern Africa and Asia to promote the rights of children and young people. She has a Master’s degree in Gender and Development and speaks fluent Mandarin and proficient French.
Lara van Kouterik is Partnerships Manager at Girls Not Brides. Lara provides critical support to strengthening Girls Not Brides National Partnerships and other networks/alliances the organisation works closely with at national levels. Moreover, she acts as primary liaison for a range of Girls Not Brides National Partnerships in selected countries, ensuring the cultivation of strong relationships between National Partnership and the Girls Not Brides secretariat.
Prior to joining the Girls Not Brides team she worked as Senior Programme Officer Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at Simavi in The Netherlands, where she developed and managed different SRHR programmes and worked closely with an alliance of civil society organisations in Kenya.
Before that she worked as a Programme Officer at Mama Cash, a Women’s Fund based in Amsterdam. Lara holds a MSc in Cultural Anthropology and International Development Studies and has a background in HIV/Aids, Gender, Women’s Rights and SRHR. She worked and lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe for several years.
As Member Engagement Officer at Girls Not Brides, Dhanishtha supports the ongoing outreach and engagement with the partnership’s 1000+ member organisations. She handles new membership requests from aspiring member organisations and explores ways to increase collaboration between the secretariat and the partnership.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Dhanishtha worked at a children’s rights network in Brussels where she focused on advancing European children’s rights initiatives. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in Human Rights from University College London and an MSc in Childhood Studies. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
As Senior Member Engagement Officer, Megan works within the Partnership team to develop and lead on strategic engagement with all of Girls Not Brides members, and to ensure ongoing capacity building and empowerment of the global partnership.
Megan has extensive experience working within coalitions, across a range of sectors and issues, all primarily focused on the protection of human rights and the strengthening of civil society. Prior to joining the Girls Not Brides team, she has worked at End Water Poverty, the global coalition working to stop the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis, as well as for CIVICUS: World Alliance of Citizen Participation, as part of their Convening team. Megan has a Master’s Degree in Development Studies and Bachelor of Social Sciences in Politics and English.
Alexandra Newlands is Girls Not Brides‘ National Partnerships Officer and is based in London, UK. Alexandra provides critical support to French and English-speaking national partnerships and coalitions working on child marriage.
Prior to this position, Alexandra was the Africa Engagement Officer, supporting the implementation of Girls Not Brides’ strategic priorities in Africa and analysing policy and programmatic developments related to child marriage on the continent.
Alexandra brings her experience of working in the Development Cooperation DG of the European Commission. She also has over four years of experience with World Vision Brussels and World Vision International where she worked on advocacy for children’s rights at the European Union level, and supported national offices to develop their child health and nutrition advocacy. She also has field experience in Mexico and Malawi where she worked on child rights issues, child participation and related social accountability mechanisms.
Alexandra speaks fluent French, English and Spanish.
As Member Engagement Assistant at Girls Not Brides, Macarena supports the ongoing outreach and engagement with the partnership’s 1000+ member organisations, with a focus on the Latin American region.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Macarena worked in Israel to promote the rights of asylum seekers in the country. She also has experience working on membership engagement at the International Council for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, a civil society coalition.
Macarena holds an MSc in International Relations and Development, with a specialisation on Global Refugee Studies. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Heather was Senior Advocacy Adviser at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, where she led IPPF’s engagement with the UN system on behalf its member associations and collaborative partners. She has previously worked as the Head of Human Rights at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and as a Fellow at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has also held positions at Maplecroft and the British Institute for Human Rights. Raised in Canada, Barclay holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University and a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford.
As Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer (National) at Girls Not Brides, Matilda tracks policy developments and formulates policy positions on child marriage at the national and regional levels, and is responsible for identifying international advocacy opportunities on ending child marriage, particularly around UN resolutions and implementation of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Matilda worked with CARE Australia on their Mekong portfolio, with UNICEF Nepal coordinating the development of Nepal’s national strategy to end child marriage, and with UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia on social policy. She has also worked with different grassroots organisations on women’s rights issues in Malaysia, Mozambique and Papua New Guinea. Matilda has an MA in Gender and Development and enjoys horse riding. She speaks fluent English and Spanish, and conversational Nepali.
As Global Policy & Advocacy Officer at Girls Not Brides, Zoe develops global-level policy strategies, recommendations and initiatives, and supports the engagement and alignment of member organisations in global advocacy.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Zoe worked at Freedom United, designing and running international advocacy campaigns on the subject of modern slavery, which included campaigns around forced child marriage. Zoe also previously worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat in the Youth Policy Division and at Amnesty International, working on a range of different human rights campaigns. Zoe has a Masters in International Relations from Kings College London.
Michelle is the Donor Engagement Manager at Girls Not Brides. Michelle works with donors to increase international funding to end child marriage and with members to build their capacity to access available resources. Michelle’s work also supports Girls Not Brides’ own fundraising.
Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, Michelle was a Senior Development Officer at Camfed International, developing and maintaining relationships with Camfed’s major donors and partners, and supporting programme management in order to multiply opportunities for girls and young women. Michelle holds an MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies from Cambridge University.