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Manira Alva

Senior Advisor, SDGs

Issue Advocacy

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Manira Alva brings over 25-years of multi-genre media experience, gendered-policy formulation and political strategizing to the Vital Voices leadership team. As the Vice President of Issue Advocacy, she oversees a number of fellowships focused on building the capacity of women leaders in political office and advocacy. She is committed to changing the narrative and culture regarding women and public leadership.

Appointed to India’s High-Level Committee on the Status of Women by Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, she reviewed and recommended changes to laws, policies and programs affecting India’s 650+ million women and recommended a 33% quota for women at all levels of political representation. At the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, she worked on the re-launch of the 16 Days of Activism global campaign. As an activist, administrator and educator, she brings an intersectional understanding of global issues, sensitive to varying cultural contexts and geo-political alignments.

Born into a family with a tradition of women in politics, Manira has lived and worked on the periphery of politics. As chief strategist of a political consulting firm, she has organized election campaigns, specialized in personal/political narrative building and strategically positioned young and emerging politicians while crisis-managing their media coverage.

Manira has, in the past, identified, supervised and monitored donor- grantee organizations, led large multi-faceted creative teams, produced and scripted award-winning documentaries for international broadcasters and taught feminist studies at Rutgers University. Her script for the documentary “Silent Screams – India’s Activism Against Rape” in the aftermath of the 2012 “Nirbhaya’ rape case, received critical international acclaim, including a New York Film Academy Award.

What was the last good book you read? 

Living a Feminist Life by Sarah Ahmed