Anika Rahman has a distinguished career as an advocate for women, particularly women’s health and human rights. Between February 2011 and July 2013, Ms. Rahman served as president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the leading national social justice foundation committed to building women’s power to ignite change.
For more than 35 years, the Ms. Foundation has delivered strategic support to trailblazing organizations that advance women’s solutions for change at decision-making tables across the nation. Under Ms. Rahman’s leadership, the Ms. Foundation continues to focus on helping improve the lives of women and their communities.
Prior to joining the Ms. Foundation, Ms. Rahman was the president of Americans for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the world’s largest funder of reproductive health programs. In her six-year tenure at UNFPA, Ms. Rahman was instrumental in raising awareness of the global fight for women's rights and of America's critical role in it. She significantly grew the organization in size and scope, establishing and directing a national public affairs and communications strategy that included political advocacy and online engagement. In addition, she successfully mobilized to have UNFPA funding restored by President Obama.
Previously, Ms. Rahman was the founding director of the International Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she created a legal framework for reproductive rights as human rights and helped women around the world fight for equality. As the visionary behind the Center’s global and U.S. foreign policy work, she developed the Center into the foremost legal organization in the world on international women’s reproductive rights. Among her achievements, Ms. Rahman led investigations into human rights violations, including sexual assault, coercive sterilization and abortion-related imprisonment, in Peru, Chile and Nepal. While at the Center, Ms. Rahman built her nonprofit management, policy and fundraising skills, sustaining the International Program’s annual budget of $2.25 million.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Rahman practiced law at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.
Ms. Rahman earned her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and her Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Rahman received the 2002 Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility from Columbia Law School.
A prominent authority on social justice, Ms. Rahman speaks frequently on issues relating to women, including reproductive health, economic justice and violence against women. Her articles have been published in major academic and legal journals and media outlets. In 2000, she co-authored Female Genital Mutiliation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies.
Ms. Rahman lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. Follow Ms. Rahman on Twitter @AnikaRahman_.