Ipas names first recipients of Maguire Fellowship for Young Leaders

Friday, January 15, 2016

Maguire FellowsThe 2016 recipients of Ipas's Maguire Fellowship for Young Leaders are (clockwise from top left): Priyanka Subramaniam, James Fofanah, Claudia Lopez and Brittany Moore.

Ipas is proud to announce the 2016 recipients of the Maguire Fellowship for Young Leaders, an international leadership development program for young professionals in the field of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

In its inaugural year, the fellowship will support the leadership development of four young Ipas staff—one from each of the four regions where Ipas works: Asia, Africa, North America, and Latin America. Ipas established the fellowship in 2015 to honor the legacy of President and CEO Liz Maguire upon her retirement.

Each fellow will have the opportunity to travel to another region where Ipas works for approximately two months to contribute to an Ipas program and participate in activities that advance the fellow’s professional development. The fellows will also participate in a series of tailored leadership development courses.

Meet the 2016 Maguire Fellows

Priyanka Subramaniam

Priyanka Subramaniam, Development and Communications Advisor, India

“The Maguire Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity both to experience first-hand the incredible work on SRHR being done by Ipas in another country, and personally to develop and enhance my leadership skills,” Subramaniam says.

She’s passionate about the importance of young people having access to accurate health information. “India has the world’s largest population of youth,” she says. “That’s an incredible opportunity to educate young people on sexual and reproductive health and rights.” Read the full interview with Subramaniam.

James Fofanah

James Fofanah, Program Advisor, Sierra Leone

“Learning a new culture and working with young people, colleagues, supervisors and other partners in another country is a dream come true for me,” Fofanah says.

He says his commitment to advocating for youth SRHR stems from the challenges he sees young people facing in his country. “Sex education and discussion of the topic is highly considered taboo,” he explains. “This is leading to a high rate of teenage pregnancy, low contraceptive use, and a high number of girls dropping out of school.” Read the full interview with Fofanah.

Brittany Moore

Brittany Moore, Health Systems Associate, United States

“I am excited about being a Maguire Fellow because it is truly a rare professional growth and leadership opportunity,” Moore says.

Her passion for advancing young people’s SRHR began with her own experience of having limited access to information. “Growing up, I had relatively limited education around most SRHR issues, especially around reproductive choice and abortion,” she explains. “It is incredibly important for young people to have access to education about their own bodies, their own choices.” Read the full interview with Moore.

Claudia Lopez

Claudia Martinez Lopez, Health Systems Advisor, Mexico

“This is such a great opportunity to improve my leadership capabilities,” Martinez Lopez says of the fellowship.

She sees promise for improving youth SRHR in Latin America because of recent law reforms and the fact that some governments are now paying attention to young people’s health-care needs. “We must empower youth,” she says. “They must become leaders in matters of their reproductive rights.” Read the full interview with Lopez.


Stay tuned: Throughout the fellowship, the fellows will be sharing their experiences and lessons learned on Ipas’s Tumblr blog Youth Act!, which highlights youth voices on SRHR.