Last year the Women’s Fund Fiji (the Fund) embarked on its journey to become the Pacific’s first national women’s fund. On 7 July 2021, the Fund was registered in Fiji as an independent entity, marking a key milestone in the gender equality space in the Pacific. This pioneering move set in motion several key milestones for the Fund and its Governance Boards.
On the eve of the Fund’s first birthday, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of our first Executive Director. Menka Goundan will be steering the Fund in the next chapter of its journey.
Menka had taken the oars from Michelle Reddy in April 2022 as Acting Executive Director. She brings strong institutional knowledge as she has worked at the Fund since early 2019 as Senior Program Manager, leading the Fund’s grants management, capacity support, and monitoring evaluation, accountability, and learning initiatives.
Menka has deep roots in Fiji’s women’s movement having worked at the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding before joining the Fund. She is an alumnus of the University of the South Pacific (USP) and Eastern Mennonite University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Development Studies at the University of the South Pacific.
Menka’s affiliations in the movement include being a Program Advisory Committee Member of the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, a member of the Australian Evaluation Society, and an incubating member of the advisory group and the steering committee of the soon to be established Pacific Feminist Fund.
The Fund’s Governance Board Chair, Georgina Naigulevu, said that the hallmark of the Fund’s leadership transition was the organisation’s continued transparency, resilience, and commitment to its values.
“We went through an open recruitment process guided by the Human Resources Sub-Committee formed by the Governance Board, a Recruitment Coordinator to facilitate the process from start to finish, and a Human Resources Contractor to align the process to scientific methodology, competence, and Fiji’s Employment regulations. I am delighted with the outcome and have faith in Menka and the Fund Team to carry our dream forward,” Ms. Naigulevu stated.
“This has been the first feminist leadership transition of its kind that I have witnessed in Fiji, in terms of the mindfulness, compassion, rigor, and comprehensiveness of the process, and I’m very honored to be part of this pioneering process,” Ms. Menka added.
Menka will officially commence her new role as the Fund’s Executive Director on 1 July 2022.
For more information about the Fund and this release, contact the Fund’s Communications Officer, Onorina Saukelo, on +679 702 1507 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org