We are a global alliance made up of dozens of country networks spread across many regions of the world, hundreds of non-governmental organizations, as well as UN partners.
MenEngage Alliance members work collectively and individually toward advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice to achieve a world in which all can enjoy healthy, fulfilling and equitable relationships and their full potential.
Through our country-level and regional networks, the MenEngage Alliance seeks to provide a collective voice on the need to engage men and boys in gender equality, to build and improve the field of practice around engaging men in achieving gender justice, and advocating before policymakers at the local, national, regional and international levels.
At global level, MenEngage is governed by a Global Board. The Global Secretariat is based in Washington DC, and sees to the implementation of the Alliance’s strategic priorities and plan. This includes coordinating and overseeing thematic working groups.
Global Secretariat staff
Joni van de Sand, Global Director
Joni is a women’s rights and gender expert with a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology & Non-Western Sociology, and an Advanced Masters degree in International Development. She has been working in international development and human-rights based advocacy for over 10 years, in networks of women’s rights, LGBTQI and gender justice. Before joining MenEngage Alliance she worked with WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform, from which she brings critical experience in lobby and advocacy at the national level and the United Nations. She has been engaged in academic and applied research, including on network building and feminist organizing; and engaging men in ending Gender Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
Joni has extensive multicultural experiences working or traveling in South Asia (India where she lived for 1 year, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos), the Middle East and Northern Africa (Morocco, Turkey, Iran), Sub-Sahara Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Senegal), Latin America (Nicaragua, Mexico) and the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Dominica), Europe and the United States. She speaks Dutch, English, and Spanish.
Laxman Belbase, Global Networks Manager
Laxman is a social worker and gender justice activist, with Master of Science degree and more than 12 years’ experience in program development, implementation and advocacy in the field of gender equality, child rights and social justice at national, regional and global levels. Prior to joining MenEngage, Laxman worked for Save the Children Sweden for seven years as Global Gender & Health Advisor, based in Stockholm, and represented Save the Children on the MenEngage Global Governance Board. Laxman is a founding core group member of MenEngage Alliance in Nepal, and has contributed to the strengthening of the Alliance in various capacities at national, regional and global levels, including by coordinating MenEngage Alliance in South Asia (2009-2013).
Having worked with national, regional and global organisations, Laxman brings his multi-cultural experiences to the areas of gender equality, child protection, violence prevention, engaging boys and men for social justice, fatherhood, sexual and reproductive health & rights, comprehensive sexuality education and human rights advocacy across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Oswaldo Montoya, Global Networks Associate
Oswaldo is a Nicaraguan psychologist. He is one of the founders of the Men’s Group Against Violence in Managua, which was the first men’s group of this kind in Central America. A former Fulbright grantee, he holds a Master’s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology from Boston College. For over twenty years he has served as an educator, activist, program officer, researcher, consultant and counselor engaging men and boys in the effort to build a more gender-equitable society free from violence and discrimination.
Oswaldo worked with Puntos de Encuentro, a feminist organization, and with Save the Children, promoting children’s rights. He is the author of several publications and educational manuals, and has contributed to successful educational campaigns, advocacy and alliances to work with boys and men.
Jennifer Rodriguez Bruno, Global Advocacy Coordinator
Jennifer obtained her B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with regional specializations in Latin America and Africa. She is currently a Masters in Sustainable Development candidate specializing in Development Management from the University of London, SOAS. Over the years, Jennifer has worked advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, refugee rights and environmental rights. A native of Spain, she gained her professional field experience through living and working in Latin America for four years.
Jennifer offers strategic leadership, campaign and advocacy experience in movement building in support of gender equality and new masculinities, arising from her Coordination of the National HeForShe Campaign with UN Women Paraguay. She worked in direct coordination with the MenEngage Alliance, having organized and co-facilitated a National Capacity Building Series in order to promote and advocate for the implementation of new masculinities programing and research in Paraguay. Prior to her work with UN Women’s National Paraguay office, Jennifer was an advocate for the integration of masculinities programing in primary education as a Development Specialist with the United States Development Agency – Peace Corps
Alvin Findlay, Finance & Operations Assistant
Sinéad Nolan, Programs Assistant
Sinéad graduated with a Master’s degree in International Development from King’s College London, where she specialized in social protection, gender and poverty reduction in Latin America. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She has previously worked as an intern in Trócaire, an Irish International development organization and CrudoTransparente, a Colombian NGO working on human rights and environmental issues related to the oil sector. She has also spent time volunteering in a school in Trujillo, Peru and has travelled extensively around South America, Europe and Asia. She speaks fluent Spanish.
Tom Hornbrook, Communications/Website Project Coordinator
Tom combines experience in both corporate and non-profit communications with an academic and activist background in gender related issues. He holds a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from Utrecht University and a postgraduate certificate in International Development from the University of Edinburgh. He has been working in communications since 2010, including two years leading the marketing and fundraising team for a small Peruvian NGO. When he is not doing communications, Tom works with Good Lad Initiative coordinating and delivering a program of workshops discussing gender with young men in his home country of the UK.
Solomy Awiidi, Intern
Solomy Awiidi is a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow (2017 -2018) from Uganda on the Law and Human Rights Program based at American University, Washington College of Law.
Solomy holds a Bachelor of Law from Ugandan Christian University (UCU), along with a post-graduate diploma in legal practice from the Law Development Center and is pursuing her Masters in International Development at Virtual University Uganda (VUU). She has 5 years’ experience in human rights work with a focus on women and children’s rights following years of work with MIFUMI Uganda, a feminist organization working to protect women and children from violence and abuse. Solomy currently works with the Refugee Law Project (School of Law, Makerere University) under the Access to Justice Program, where she focuses on provision of legal aid services to forced migrants, advocacy for reform in policy, practice, and law, as well as strengthening capacity of state and none state actors to deliver justice.
As an advocate, she is a member of Uganda and the East African Law Society, FIDA-Uganda, Network of Public Interest Lawyers, the GBV Prevention Network and also an alumnus of Men Engage Africa Training Initiative (MATI). She is also a member of the Men Engage African Youth Advisory Committee.
Abhijit Das, Global Co-Chair
Abhijit Das is Director of the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) in India. Das is a medical doctor with 30 years’ experience in grassroots work, training, research and policy advocacy. He is founder member of the alliance on men and gender equality MASVAW. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, and Convenor of Community of Practitioners in Accountability and Social Action in Health (COPASAH).
Based in New Delhi, CHSJ is a civil society institution working to strengthen accountability of public health systems and health governance through research and advocacy as well as finding ways through which men can engage in addressing gender based violence, contribute to improved sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes of women and to overall gender justice.