Plenary Speakers

Dr. Swarup Sarkar

image001Dr. Swarup Sarkar is a stalwart in the design and implementation of AIDS programmes at the national, regional and global levels. Dr. Sarkar has worked on all delivery platforms: Government of India, UNAIDS, Global Fund, and WHO. Currently he is working as Director, Department of Communicable Diseases, SEARO-WHO New Delhi. His specialization is HIV Treatment and is advising several panels at both regional and global level.  Trained in Public Health and Epidemiology from University of California, Dr. Sarkar has done extensive research on the implications of HIV epidemiology on the national economies in Africa and Asia and his contribution to policy setting and programme design has several country programmes in the Asia Pacific region.

Jules Kim

image003Jules Kim is Korean-born Australian sex worker. She is the Migration Project Manager at Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, the peak national peer sex worker organisation representing and informed by their sex worker membership, that includes state and territory based Sex Worker Organisations and Projects and individual sex workers throughout Australia, on issues effecting Scarlet Alliance members and sex workers Australia wide. The Migration Project is run by and for migrant sex workers with the aim of increasing understandings of migrant sex worker issues and ensuring representation by migrant sex workers in all policies, projects and issues that affect us.

Jules has been a member of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking since 2009 and is currently involved in the communication and awareness raising strategy working group for Australia’s National Action Plan on Trafficking, ensuring that migrant sex worker voices are present in anti-trafficking discourses. From 2009, Jules was the coordinator of the Migration Research Project, the largest research project of migrant sex workers in Australia to date, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Criminology. In 2014 she was the coordinator of the Sex Worker Pre-Conference and Sex Worker Networking Zone at the International AIDS Conference. In 2015 she has also taken on the role of Coordinator of the Scarlet Alliance National Training and Assessment Program. She has written and presented on a range of issues including sex work, migration and community mobilization.

Myung-Hwan Cho

image005Dr. Cho is Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences of Konkuk University, South Korea, and Adjunct Professor of American Government at University of Maryland University College, U.S.A. He holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona and a Master Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.Prof. Cho’s work spans three platforms which include HIV/AIDS, public health advocacy, and entrepreneurship-innovation sustainability.

Dr. Cho was a visiting scholar at the Center for AIDS Research at Stanford University where he carried out one of the first AIDS clinical trials using combination therapy,while working alongside Prof. Thomas Moerigan and Nobel Laureate Baruch Blumberg, on HIV drug resistance.Healsoserved as President for The AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP, 2005-2009), Chair of ICAAP 10 held in Busan, South Korea in 2011, while also currently offering his time and service as Public Officer at ASAP. In addition, Prof. Cho co-authored ‘AIDS: Taking a Long-Term view’with Dr. Peter Piot and the 2013 AIDS Consortium, and was an independent steering committee member of UNITAID.He also co-founded Celltrion Inc., a leading-edge company in the biotech industry.

Robert Clay

image007Robert Clay joined Save the Children US in November 2014 as Vice President for Global Health. He leads a team of over 125 staff based in Washington, D.C. and regional offices around the world, and overseas Save the Children US’ work in Maternal Newborn Health, Child Health, Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and Emergency Health and Nutrition.

Prior to joining Save the Children, Robert held the position of Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C. He supervised all the technical offices in the Global Health Bureau while at USAID.  Earlier, he was responsible for leading USAID’s implementation of the PEPFAR programs, overseeing 140 staff and a portfolio of $3.3 billion annually. He chaired the Saving Mothers, Giving Life Leadership Council, an innovative $200 million public-private partnership focused on maternal mortality, and represented the US Government on the GAVI Executive Board. He knows the field well from his 10 year tenure in Zambia and India, where he directed USAID’s Population, Health and Nutrition programs.

Robert obtained the rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service while at USAID and was honored with the Agency’s Distinguished Career Service Award in 2013. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in 2014.

Dr. Nathan Ford

image009Dr  Ford works holds a senior position in the Dept of HIV/AIDS and Global Hepatitis Programme where he supports the development and implementation of guidelines. He is also chair of the WHO Guideline Review Committee. Prior to joining WHO he supported HIV programmes in a number of countries in southern Africa and South-East Asia, most recently as the Head of MSF’s Medical Unit in South Africa. He holds a degree in Microbiology and Virology, a Masters in Public Health and Epidemiology, and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology.


Anand Grover

image011Anand Grover, is a designated Senior Advocate, practicing in the Supreme Court of India and the Director of the Lawyer’s Collective (India), having offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. He was the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Right to Health) by the UN Human Rights Council from 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2014. Anand Grover is a well-known long-time advocate and activist on HIV and human rights.

He was the member of the drafting group of the International Guidelines on Human Rights & HIV/AIDS and  a member, National Board, AVAHAN, the India AIDS Initiative, Gates Foundation, Board Member of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the Reference Group on Human Rights to the Executive Director, UNAIDS, National Advisory a member of the World Care Council, a member of the Core Group of NGOs representatives in the National Human Rights Commission of India and the member of the National Advisory Board on HIV and AIDS set up by the Prime Minister of India.

He is presently a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and member of the Lancet-University of Oslo Panel on Global Governance of Health.

Kay Thi Win

image013Kaythi was able to set up a national rights-based program for female sex workers in Burma that includes not only HIV programming but focuses on sexual and reproductive health as well. She is currently Senior Program Manager for the Targeted Outreach Program (TOP) which focuses HIV prevention, treatment and support services to sex workers in Burma. Kaythi oversees a program that includes 19 drop-in centres and sexual health clinics for sex workers throughout the country. Prior to the establishment of TOP, no services at all existed for sex workers in Burma and it was Kaythi’s intrepid spirit coupled with local street knowledge that was crucial to this progressive enhancement. She currently serves as the elected Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) and is a well-known and respected advocate for the rights of sex workers on a national, regional and global level. Kaythi serves as an inspiration to sex worker activists in other countries where the situation for advancing sex workers’ rights and sexual health must be conducted in environments that are legally restrictive. Kaythi is the focal point for sex workers in Myanmar and regularly consults with UN co-sponsors on sex worker issues and policy.

Halida H Akhter

Halida-Akhter-189x245Dr. Halida Akhter is a reproductive health epidemiologist with over 30 years of national and international work experience in reproductive health issues. Halida has made significant contributions to the field of reproductive health through her efforts in scientific research as well as her leadership roles in reproductive health institutions. Her previous experience includes roles as the  Founder and Director of the Bangladesh Institute of Research for Promotion of Essential & Reproductive Health Technologies (BIRPERHT); Director General of the Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB); and Founder (as well as voluntary President) of a grassroots-level organization (Society for Health Promotion Links) that trains women to become community maternity practitioners in rural Bangladesh.

Halida also served as the Global Technical Lead for Reproductive Health and Family Planning at Management Sciences for Health from 2009 to 2011. In this role, she leads and directs development and implementation of MSH’s RH/FP strategies and interventions and strengthens MSH’s reproductive health and family planning results and organizational impact. As Global Technical Lead for reproductive health and family planning at Management Sciences for Health, she led and directed the development and implementation of MSH’s reproductive health and family planning strategies and managed 14 projects across the globe. Halida has served on the Board of Directors of leading global health organizations such as PATH and Family Health International and the Dean’s Alumni Council of the Johns Hopkins University. She has participated in the evaluations of large reproductive health programs of the World Health Organization, UNFPA, USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Jonathan G. Castañeda

image015Jonathan G. Castañeda is a Health Advocate since 2006 in a non-profit non-stock organization based in Quezon City, NCR Philippines. The Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE) Inc.,  an NGO engage in the development and implementation of programs and projects addressing migration, health, gender, sexuality, reproductive health and HIV and AIDS issues. The main partners of the organization are migrant workers and their families, people living with HIV (PLHIV), MSM, women and young people.

For 11 years of being HIV positive, he received numerous trainings, workshop and seminars that enriched his knowledge and skills as an HIV Advocate. He was also engaged as a volunteer researcher in the accomplishment of State of Health: Philippine Reported by ACHIEVE, Titled:  Fit to Work? Mandatory Testing of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Published Year 2009. He was a resource person in the publication of Coordination of Action Research and Mobility in Asia (CARAM-Asia) Living with Hope: Life Stories of Asian Migrant Workers Living with HIV, a publication that present the real voice of migrant workers as well as regional analysis that synthesize the issues that link with HIV and Migration.

Moni Begum

image017Moni Begum is an intelligent, dynamic and a confident young girl. She has decent knowledge on child marriage, sanitation, hygiene, pollution, health and more. Moni’s determination and commitment to development issues and her is commendable. Moni Begum can engage in discussions about world health issues and Bangladesh’s current developmental context. Her participation and enthusiasm is noteworthy. Moni is able to voice her opinions using her own judgments with much confidence.


Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

image019Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a hijra social activist, dancer, actress, celebrity. Laxmi’s aim is to bring about the recognition of human rights of sexual minorities, especially transgender persons, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Through media appearances, national, regional and international consultancy, cooperating with various NGOs across the country and presiding over the CBO Astitva Trust, Laxmi is at the forefront of social work and advocacy in India. She was the first transgender person to represent Asia-Pacific in the UN President’s Office Civil Society Task Force on HIV/AIDS.

She also the founder member of Maharashtra Trithiya Panthi Sangatana – MTPS and core founder member of APTN – Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She was impleader in the recent path breaking Supreme Court case of India and subsequent judgement on upholding rights of hijras and transgenders in India. She also was the core community representative and in the planning commission of the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne representing Asia Pacific region. She was also the intervener in the Nasla Petition filed for Transgender Rights and recognition in Supreme Court of India Judgement. She was part of the steering core committee set by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for Transgender Rights and upliftment.

Susan Kasedde

image021Susan Kasedde currently serves as Senior Advisor and Team Leader on HIV and Adolescents for UNICEF based in New York. In this role since 2009, she has contributed towards global level evidence generation, technical guidance development, advocacy, global partnership development, and technical assistance towards the global response towards HIV prevention, treatment and care in adolescents aged 10 – 19.

Prior to this role, Susan served as Regional Adviser with the UNAIDS Regional Office for Eastern & Southern Africa. In that role, she was responsible for coordinating analytic work on the epidemic and response and modes of HIV transmission in several high HIV burden countries, working extensively with government teams and partners in the highest HIV burden countries in the world to support government-led teams to better align national strategies with the national epidemic.

Susan has nearly 20 years of experience working on adolescents sexual and reproductive health of which 17 of those have been focused on HIV in adolescents. Susan holds a doctorate in Epidemiology and Population Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University and Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Science and French from the University of Pennsylvania.

Roger-Mark De Souza

Roger-Mark De SouzaRoger-Mark De Souza is the director of population, environmental security, and resilience for the Wilson Center. He leads programs on climate change resilience, reproductive and maternal health, environmental security, and livelihoods, including the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, Environmental Change and Security Program, and Maternal Health Initiative.

Before joining the Center in 2013, De Souza served as vice president of research and director of the climate program at Population Action International, where he provided strategic guidance, technical oversight, and management of programs on population, gender, climate change, environment, and reproductive health. From 2007 to 2010, as the director of foundation and corporate relations at the Sierra Club, he led a multi-million dollar foundation and corporate fundraising program. Prior to working at the Sierra Club, he directed the Population, Health, and Environment Program at the Population Reference Bureau for 10 years, where he designed and implemented research, communications, and capacity-building projects in the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

De Souza holds graduate degrees in international relations and development policy from George Washington University and the University of the West Indies.