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New Asia director reveals vision for Plan International

Plan International in Asia will ensure no one is left behind and gender equality is a priority, according to new Regional Director Senait Gebregziabher.

Senait Gebregziabher, a NGO veteran who has more than 2 decades of experience managing large-scale humanitarian and development programmes in Asia and Africa, has officially joined Plan International in Asia as its new Regional Director.

As Regional Director, Senait will provide leadership to Plan International’s work across 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring that the programming and operations in the region align and contribute to Plan International’s global strategy and mandate.

“I envision Plan International in Asia as a go-to organisation on children’s rights, particularly in relation to equality for girls,” said Ms. Gebregziabher.

Before joining as Regional Director, Ms. Gebregziabher has served as Country Director of Plan International Bangladesh and has held senior roles with Oxfam and Save the Children in countries like Somalia, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka.

Real change agent

Ms. Gebregziabher has more than 2 decades of experience managing large-scale humanitarian and development programmes.

Asia is considered home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Ms. Gebregziabher said it is important to be “ambitious, dynamic, and a learning organisation” to become more relevant and a true change agent in the region.

“From country programming to engaging and focusing on the global goals, we must identify the areas that are pertinent in the region, learn from one another, and deliver impact-driven, quality programming,” she said.

“We have to work hand in hand with local organisations, regional institutions, Government, UN agencies and most important, the right holders,” she added.

Reaching the most marginalised

Senait also wants to raise the voices of girls and boys and ensure equal benefits and representation for the most marginalised.

It is important that we ensure that no one is being left behind

“It is important that we ensure that no one is being left behind, that everyone is growing together, and that we are bringing girls’ rights to the forefront,” she said.

Throughout her career in the development and humanitarian sector, Ms. Gebregziabher has gained extensive experience in areas including gender, poverty reduction, education, protection, health, and governance, among others.

She led 2 major responses in Sri Lanka — the 2005 tsunami and the 2006-2009 escalation of conflict. Senait also led complicated humanitarian programmes while serving as country director of Oxfam in Somalia.

She holds a Masters of Science in International Community Economic Development from South New Hampshire University in the USA and Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

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