Purnima Mane

President and Chief Executive Officer


Purnima Mane is Pathfinder's President and Chief Executive Officer. She oversees more than 1,000 staff around the world, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and sexual and reproductive health programs in more than 20 developing countries.

Purnima is a distinguished diplomat, leader, manager, academician, and social activist, as well as an internationally recognized expert on HIV, maternal health, behavior change, gender, and population.

She has more than 30 years of leadership experience, the last 15 years of which have been in the United Nations system, including UNAIDS and WHO. Before joining Pathfinder, as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director (Programme) of UNFPA, Purnima directed global policies and programs for the agency.


Areas of Expertise: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender, Maternal & Newborn Health, HIV & AIDS, Contraception & Family Planning, Nonprofit Management, Leadership, Consensus Building

Education: MA, MPhil, and PhD in social work with a focus on women in the work force

Previously lived and/or worked in: India, Switzerland, and worked throughout the world.

Professional Organizations and Affiliations: Partnership for Maternal; Newborn and Child Health (former co-chair), The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Policy Advisory Committee member), MTV Staying Alive Foundation (board member)

Languages: English, French, Marathi, Hindi

Joined Pathfinder in: February 2012

Follow Purnima on Twitter: @Purnima_Mane

Do you have a personal connection to Pathfinder's work?

I have always looked up to my mother who was an incredible woman and also worked in the field of women's health and family planning at a time when it was almost taboo. She was one of my first personal and professional mentors. I am very grateful not only to be doing this important work, but for being able to carry on in the field that meant so much to my mother. In fact, I was just looking through old publications of hers and she had published a study in the early 1990's regarding development of a model of HIV prevention among low-income adolescent girls in urban India. This is very much the type of efforts Pathfinder engages in while integrating activities to improve access to contraception, among other key needs for this highly vulnerable population.

What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

My first career was as a singer and actress in Mumbai, India!


Other Pathfinder Staff

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Ellen I. Israel

Ellen I. Israel is Pathfinder International's Senior Technical Advisor for Women's Health and Rights.

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Olivia Moseley

Olivia Moseley is Pathfinder's Technical Advisor for Instructional Design.

Eve Wen-jing Lee

Eve Wen-jing Lee is Pathfinder International's Senior Advisor for China Program.

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