Mehlika Hoodbhoy is the Team Leader for Strategy, Planning and Learning in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning at USAID. She ensures that technical expertise is brought to bear on an efficient process of country strategy development, review and approval. In 2015/16 she led a Task Force to revise the Agency’s internal policies on strategic planning, project/activity design and monitoring/evaluation. From 2011 to 2015, she was the Deputy Director of the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, where she led efforts to build USAID’s internal capacity to carry out gender analysis; monitor and evaluate progress toward gender equality; and effectively communicate why taking gender into account improves foreign assistance.
Mehlika has worked on women’s social and economic rights and development issues for over 20 years. Prior to joining USAID in 2008, she consulted on gender integration for CARE-USA, the City and County of San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, the Ford Foundation, the New York Women’s Foundation, UNFPA and UNIFEM (now UN Women). Mehlika started her career in the Asia Program of the Ford Foundation.
Mehlika received her M.A. in International Relations from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and her B.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from Colgate University. The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs published her call to action, “In Pursuit of a Thorough and Nuanced Education: The Importance of Gender and Social Analysis,” which underscores the importance of training all international affairs graduate students in gender and social analysis. She also authored “Exporting Despair: The Human Rights Implications of U.S. Restrictions on Foreign Health Care Funding in Kenya” which came out in the Fordham International Law Journal.