Geeta Rao Gupta

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Geeta Rao Gupta
Geeta Rao Gupta.jpg
Born Mumbai, India
Alma mater Bangalore University, University of Delhi
Occupation Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Geeta Rao Gupta (born 1956 in Mumbai, India) is a leader on gender, women’s issues, and HIV/AIDS. She is frequently consulted on issues related to AIDS prevention and women’s vulnerability to HIV and is an advocate for women’s economic and social empowerment to fight disease, poverty and hunger. Rao Gupta is former president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She began working with ICRW in 1988 as a consultant, researcher, and officer, and headed the private, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. from 1997 through April 2010. She stepped down to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior fellow. Currently she serves as Deputy Executive Director for UNICEF and the Vice Chair of the Board for the GAVI Alliance. She was appointed to this position by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 18 April 2011.


Rao Gupta grew up in Mumbai and Delhi, India, and received her education from the University of Delhi and Bangalore University (India). While working toward her advanced degrees in social psychology, she worked as a counselor at a drop-in center in New Delhi and lectured in the psychology departments of several universities. At the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Rao Gupta worked with a team to develop the first women’s studies curriculum for graduate students in India.[1]

In the mid-1980s, Rao Gupta moved to the United States and began working at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in 1988. She has held a number of positions with ICRW, including consultant, researcher and vice-president. In the 1990s, Rao Gupta headed a ground-breaking, 15-country research program that identified the social and economic roots of women’s vulnerability to HIV infection. Rao Gupta became president of ICRW in 1996.

Rao Gupta currently serves as co-convener of the Social Drivers Working Group of aids2031, an international initiative commissioned by UNAIDS to chart a course for a global response to AIDS over the next twenty-five years. She also serves on the program boards of the Moriah Fund and the Nike Foundation. Rao Gupta served as co-chair of the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Youth Employment and from 2002 to 2005, she co-chaired the U.N. Millennium Project’s Task Force on Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women. Rao Gupta was formerly a board member for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and InterAction.[2]

In 2016, World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan appointed Rao Gupta as member of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.[3] Since October 2016, she has been co-chairing (alongside Katherine Sierra) the World Bank’s Global Gender-Based Violence (GGBV) Task Force; the group was launched by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to strengthen the institution’s response through its projects to issues involving sexual exploitation and abuse.[4]

Rao Gupta is often sought by the development community and media, and has been quoted by The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today, as well as other national and international news sources.[2]


Rao Gupta received a Ph.D. in social psychology from Bangalore University, an M. Phil in organizational behavior from the University of Delhi, and a master's in clinical of psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Delhi.[2]


Rao Gupta’s expertise is in gender mainstreaming, women’s health, HIV and AIDS, women’s economic empowerment, private sector roles in development, strategies to empower women and advance gender equality, and women and poverty.[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Women Who Mean Business Award, Washington Business Journal, 2007[5]
  • Anne Roe Award, Harvard Graduate School of Education[6]
  • Legacy Award, Working Mother Media, 2006[7]


Speeches and statements[edit]


  1. ^ "Geeta Rao Gupta | Columbia University World Leaders Forum". 2006-06-08. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Geeta Rao Gupta Bio International Center for Research on Women". ICRW. Archived from the original on August 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  3. ^ Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme World Health Organization.
  4. ^ World Bank Launches Global Task Force to Tackle Gender-Based Violence World Bank, press release of October 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "International Center for Research on Women". ICRW. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  6. ^ Harvard News Office (2006-11-02). "Geeta Rao Gupta receives Anne Roe Award from GSE". Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Press Releases". 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 

[1] United Nations Press Release

External links[edit]