Anika Rahman: Profile of the President of Americans for UNFPA

Anika Rahman

Adapted by Ayub Khan, MMNS

Anika Rahman is the President of Americans for UNFPA. As head of the official support organization for the United Nations women’s health agency her role is to increase American engagement in the promotion of the health and rights of women globally. A large part of this increased involvement includes restoring the United States annual contribution to UNFPA, which is currently withheld by the Administration. The U.S. helped to found UNFPA in 1969 but is currently the only country in the world that declines to contribute for reasons that are political rather than financial.

For more than twelve years Ms Rahman has monitored and analyzed United States and international policies that affect the reproductive health and rights of women. The Founding Director of the International Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights (formerly, the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, CRLP), Ms. Rahman was responsible for the expansion of the Center’s global and U.S. foreign policy programs. Under her leadership, CRLP forged collaborative efforts with women’s rights organizations around the world and was a strong advocate for placing reproductive rights within the context of international human rights.

Co-author of Female Genital Mutilation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies (2000 Zed Books), Ms. Rahman’s articles on women’s health and rights have been published in academic, human rights, and legal journals, and in major newspapers throughout the country.

Ms. Rahman, a member of the New York bar, received her Juris Doctor in 1990 from Columbia Law School, where she was awarded a certificate, with honors, in International and Foreign Law by the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Currently, Ms. Rahman is a member of Columbia Law School’s Board of Visitors and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ms. Rahman is a native of Bangladesh and grew up in that country and Pakistan. She is the third generation of university educated women in her family.


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