Anika Rahman is a lawyer with a distinguished career as a leader for human rights and social justice. Her expertise is focused on women, health and economic development.
Ms. Rahman served as President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the leading U.S. social justice foundation focused on women. She focused on strengthening the women’s movement, with a special emphasis on diversity and the concerns of marginalized communities. She led the foundation toward a comprehensive new strategic plan that consolidated the organization’s finances and expanded its public profile as a national voice for women.
Previously, Ms. Rahman was the President of Friends for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the world’s largest funder of reproductive and sexual health programs. In her tenure at the helm of Friends for UNFPA, Ms. Rahman was instrumental in raising awareness of the global fight for the rights of women and girls and of America’s critical role in this movement. She significantly grew the organization in size and scope and was part of the campaign to have UNFPA funding restored by President Obama.
Ms. Rahman was the Founding Director of the International Legal 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 and health. 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.
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 2009 Women’s eNew “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” award and the 2002 Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility from Columbia Law School. Her articles have been published in major academic and legal journals and media outlets. In 2000, she co-authored a book, “Female Genital Mutilation: A Practical Guide to Worldwide Laws and Policies,” published by St. Martin’s Press.