Anjala Kanesathasan, Senior Gender Advisor, E2A / IntraHealth International

To provide leadership for gender integration across E2A activities, particularly in work with first-time parents, Anjala leverages 25 years of experience working in health and development initiatives around the globe.

Anjala’ gender expertise stems from her experiences working in multiple sectors and settings to increase access to essential services and foster individual, family, and community agency. She began her career as a University of Michigan Population Fellow to the SOMARC Project in Uganda, where she led the development and launch of a socially-marketed injectable contraceptive—one of the first such products in sub-Saharan Africa. Anjala continued to focus on social marketing and private sector FP/RH initiatives with Deloitte through the Commercial Market Strategies Project, working primarily in Central Asia and Turkey. Anjala then served as the Behavior Change Communications Advisor with PATH for the AMKENI Project in Kenya, where she directed a team of over 1,500 community-based agents who, in turn, supported efforts for individuals and communities to identify and address their health priorities—from immunizations, to family planning, to PMTCT, to gender-based violence. Prior to joining E2A, Anjala served as a Senior Health and Development Specialist with the International Center for Research on Women, where she led multiple projects that advanced gender and empowerment outcomes in different sectors, including health, agriculture, and economic engagement. 

Anjala has an MPH in Population Planning and International Health from the University of Michigan and a BA from Brown University. 

When asked why she is passionate about expanding access to family planning and reproductive health, Anjala says: 

“I believe in the right of every individual to make and achieve their life goals. To do that, they need to truly understand their options, have a real chance to decide what they want, be able to voice that decision, and take action as they think best for themselves and their families. Given how fundamental reproductive issues are to shaping all life plans, realities, and goals, it’s essential that people can use different contraceptive (and other RH) tools and services when they need them.”