Dr. Nandini Oomman

Nandini Oomman, CEO, Samya Ventures

Dr. Nandini Oomman

CEO, Samya Ventures

Nandini Oomman is CEO of Sāmya Ventures and Founding Curator of The Women’s Storytelling Salon™. She is an experienced Global Health, Gender & Development professional with more than 20 years of research, program, and policy experience in Global Development. Nandini previously led the HIV/AIDS Monitor Initiative at The Center for Global Development (CGD), worked at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. and Hanoi, Vietnam and was a Warren Weaver Fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation. Nandini’s global work is informed by her experience with community-based organizations through her work at The Rockefeller Foundation, The Indian Health Organization, (an HIV/AIDS prevention organization in Mumbai, India), and with URMUL, in rural Rajasthan, India. Nandini has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University, and a PhD (Fogarty Fellow) from the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is lucky to be a 2020 WomenLift Health NA Fellow!

All Sessions by Dr. Nandini Oomman

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Reimagining Leadership in Global Health: What’s Power got to do with it?

Led by: WomenLift Health.

Globally, the emerging discourse on women’s leadership is around redefining narratives and cultures of power grounded in equality and justice. Power has often been considered as a binary, masculine, often synonymous with men in opposition to those who don't hold it, largely women. On the contrary power is not a binary; in fact, it is multi-layered and complex. Incorporated within power are ideas of access to money, people, spaces, and information. Discussions of reimagining leadership in the context of power prompts us to think about the complexity of redistributing power and creating more dissonance in who has access and under what conditions.

This session will convene leaders from organizations that have been walking the talk- of shifting power and creating models of shared leadership with a vision to democratize and achieve higher and sustainable impact. We believe the conversation of reimagining leadership needs to be pegged to important discussions around redistributing power. We want to bring an honest conversation about what it takes to shift power to reimagine leadership as we know it, between those who have reimagined leadership and practiced it in their institutions and participants at the WLH Conference.

The panel will explore these questions: How are organizations restructuring and redistributing assets and opportunities to develop shared leadership models? What does it mean to identify meaningful, contextual objectives for reimagining leadership, and have they been able to allocate resources to achieve these objectives? What are some of the expected outcomes of the process of shifting power, and how effectively are these achieved? What is the role of traditional “HQs” in localization processes? What does localization mean to the diverse stakeholders who are experiencing the change? How do roles and relationships change? What are some of the reflections of this process amongst those who have tried to shift power?

1. Ms. Benter Owour: IPAS Global Network Advisor, Uganda
2. Gunjan Veda, Global Secretary, The Movement for Community-led Development, USA
3. Ms. Joanna Mbakulo: Uganda Country Coordinator, Movement for Community Led Development (MCLD), Uganda
4. Ms. Evelyne Opondo, Director, ICRW Africa, Kenya
5. Dr. Norah Obudho, East Africa Director, WomenLift Health, Kenya

1. Sia Nowrojee, Senior Director, Girls & Women Strategy, United Nations Foundation, USA/KENYA, WLH NA 2020
2. Dr Nandini Oomman, CEO, Samya Ventures, USA/INDIA WLH NA 2020
3. Dr Priya Nanda: Global Health Research and Evaluation Specialist, INDIA, WLH INDIA 2021