Maria Jose Alcalá appointed as Head of the Independent Accountability Panel Secretariat


The Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) are pleased to announce the appointment of Maria Jose Alcalá as the Head of the IAP Secretariat.

The IAP, Co-chaired by Carmen Barroso (Brazil) and Kul Gautam (Nepal), is a panel of experts convened by the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) in Early 2016 to provide an independent and transparent review of progress and challenges on the implementation of the 2016-30 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health. The panel formally submitted its first report, “2016: Old Challenges, New Hopes,’’ in September 2016 to the United Nations Secretary-General and made its public launch at the time of the UN General Assembly.

Maria Jose Alcalá brings a wealth of experience in international development both at the UN and with non-governmental organizations in policy advocacy and strategy development. Over the past 25 years, her work has focused on human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality/women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, poverty and adolescent and youth rights.

Alcalá has served as the Director of The High Level Task Force (HLTF) for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), co-chaired by former Presidents Tarja Halonen of Finland and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique. Previously, she was the Chief of UN Women’s Ending Violence against Women Section and head of the General Assembly’s UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. She also held various posts at UNFPA, including as Senior Technical Advisor on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and as advisor on adolescent and youth issues. She was principal author and researcher for two UNFPA State of the World Population Reports (2005-2006)--on reproductive health, gender and the Millennium Development Goals, and on international migration and women.

While working with NGOs in the 1990s, she played a key role in mobilizing a global advocacy coalition and developing consensus documents that influenced the final agreements at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Alcalá will assume her new position as Head of the Secretariat on 4th of January 2017. She will be based at the PMNCH Secretariat, which hosts the IAP Secretariat at the Headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

Born in Argentina and a national of Spain, Ms. Alcalá holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs (International Political Economy) from Columbia University.

Please join us in welcoming her!

Carmen Barroso and Kul Gautam, IAP Co-chairs

Helga Fogstad, Executive Director, PMNCH