Mahlet Atakilt Woldetsadik has a MPH from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique, a Bachelor of Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from Converse College. She has experience working on community based projects across various cultures, including conducting focus group discussions in reproductive health issues in rural areas of Ethiopia and designing health oriented development projects and capacitating women in Rajasthan, India. As part of her master’s thesis, she designed and implemented a qualitative research project to study the provision of medico-legal services to survivors of sexual violence. Mahlet recently completed a fellowship at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique, France where she was part of a team that conceptualized a research project based on the major noncommunicable diseases causing premature death and disability in the European population. She was editor-in-chief of the Public Health International Network (PHIN) newsletter from 2010-2011 in Paris, France.


Mekonnen Degu is the Southern Region Area Manager for Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia, an affiliate member of International Parenthood Program Federation. He is responsible for the strategic vision, design and development, and coordination of the integrated FP, MCH, and HIV Service Provisions offering women a broad set of family planning and maternal and child health services. Mekonnen earned his Master’s Degree in Sociology from Karnataka State University, India and Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from European ETS University, Kenya. Mekonnen has over 10 years of experience successfully managing maternal health and HIV/AIDS and development projects. Previously he worked in Care Africa, SOS Children’s village, World Vision-Ethiopia PC3 program, EMWACDO, CCF-America and ACCDA-Ethiopia in different positions.


As a Young Champion, Mahlet worked with the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia on promoting preventive services such as availability of contraception, family planning, and safe abortion services to prevent disabilities and premature deaths. She believes making information accessible is vital for people to make informed choices on issues related to sexual and reproductive health.