Aruna Rao, Ph.D.has been appointed Chair of the Oxfam International (OI) Board of Directors on 15 September 2022. She succeeds interim chair Nisreen Alami and will serve an initial three-year term.
Dr Rao has over 40 years’ experience in the field of gender equality and development, pioneering new approaches to feminist-led institutional change while working for BRAC in Bangladesh. In 2001, she co-founded the international feminist network Gender at Work, leading that organisation for 17 years.
Dr Rao is currently Chair of the Interim Board of Directors of Nobel Women’s Initiative and a Professor of Practice at SOAS University’s Research & Enterprise Directorate.Previously, she served as Chair of CIVICUS (2004-2008)and Board member of ActionAid International (2015-2018) during times of significant organisational change.
Dr Rao said: “At this critical moment in history when the stakes for human and planetary survival have never been higher, Oxfam International is a strong voice for justice and has unique contributions to make in advancing the voices and power of the most marginalized. Oxfam has galvanized the international NGO sector in setting key agendas for action and I am very happy to be joining this movement now. I look forward to helping. centre feminist visions and pathways in Oxfam’s work. “
Oxfam International Board Interim Chair, Nisreen Alami said: “Aruna brings a richness of skill and experience that will be so valuable to Oxfam as we evolve into a more feminist and diverse global organisation. We are pleased and honoured to welcome her aboard.’’
Aruna Rao holds a Ph.D.in educational administration and organisational behaviour from Columbia University. She has published widely including innovative training programs on transformative leadership for gender equality. She also co-hosts the Gender at Work podcast, Rethinking Feminist Transformational Strategies.
Aruna Rao, Ph.D.is an expert and thought leader in gender equality and feminist leadership in the non-profit sector and in her field. In her over 40 years of experience particularly in Asia and Africa, Aruna has brought her passion for gender equality and development to champion gender transformative institutional change for equitable and sustainable outcomes for women and girls. The founder of Gender at Work–where she also served as Executive Director–Aruna is a highly experienced non-executive Board member and Chair. She has served as Chair of CIVICUS and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)and as a Board member of ActionAid International during times of significant organisational change. Currently, she is a Professor of Practice at SOAS University of London and serves as the Chair of the Interim Board of Directors at Nobel Women’s Initiative. Aruna Rao holds a Ph.D.in educational administration and organisational behaviour from Columbia University.