Shirin Heidari, Founder and Executive Director
Dr. Shirin Heidari is the founder and Executive Director of GENDRO. She is also a Senior Researcher at the Gender Centre, the Geneva Graduate Institute. Additionally, Dr. Heidari collaborates closely with the World Health Organization, supporting gender mainstreaming in its technical work. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters and Editor-in-Chief of its peer-reviewed journal. Before that, she led the Research Promotion Department of the International AIDS Society and was the Executive Editor of the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). Dr. Heidari received her doctorate at Karolinska Institute in 2001 and continued as an HIV researcher until her move to Geneva in 2007.
She founded and co-chaired the Gender Policy Committee and led the development of the widely cited Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines. She has been an elected board member at Amnesty International, Sweden, served as a commissioner to the Lancet Commission on Women, Power and Cancer, and is currently member of the Foundation Board of the Geneva International Film Festival and Forum for Human Rights (FIFDH). She has been a TEDx speaker and author of several publications. She was recognized as one of the influential figures shaping the future of International Geneva in 2022.
Maya Lal Sopory, Project Manager
Maya Sopory supports GENDRO’s communications and project management. Sopory seeks praxis of an intersectional feminist approach, including using a liberatory framework to understand institutions of power. Sopory holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College (U.S.) in International Politics with minors in French and Law, Public Policy, and Human Rights and recently finished a Master’s in Development Studies with a focus on power and conflict at the Geneva Graduate Institute (CH).
Kala Madhav, Web master
Kala Madhav has a Masters in Computer Applications from India. She is a part of the communications team at GENDRO and works mainly with the website and related issues. In Geneva she has been working with NGOs involved in a variety of sectors. Some of the NGOs she has been working/worked with include World Federation for Mental Health, SAHFA – Smart Access to Health For All, Action for Development (previously Bhaktar Development Network – Suisse). She is also associated with NGO committees in Genava namely the NGO Committee on Ageing (NGOCOA) and the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGOCSW).
Corina Codreanu, Communications
With 10+ years’ research experience in biotechnology, her passion lies in the natural world, life science and communications. After receiving her PhD in Biotechnology (Ghent University, Belgium) she got interested on how fundamental research can be translated into various biotech applications (human health). Focusing on how to bridge science with technology and business, she worked with entrepreneurs advising them on lab setup and management and analyzing the market for potential suppliers on equipment, soware and consumables. Then, with a strong understanding of both health research and communications, Corina joined, this year, the c ommunication team with a target to amplify GENDRO’s mission and impact.
Loeïza Jack, Visual advisor
Before photography, Loeïza Jacq worked in the performing arts, acting and directing. An MA in Theatre Studies and a Shakespeare Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London) are part of that background which is at the root of her unique approach to photography that involves the viewer in an experience. Her installations use human voices along with images. Since her first photographic project, which was on dust, she focuses on what is invisible to the naked eye.
Since 2005, Loeiza has travelled and photographed extensively and in Afghanistan, worked as a photographer for two NGO’s. Loeiza Jacq graduated from the French photography school, in Arles (ENSP), in 2013. As an advisor for Gendro, she endeavours to help us visualize the hidden part of the iceberg.
Her website is www.theinvisibleforest.org.
Yalda Matin, Intern
Yalda is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing a specialist in International Relations and a minor in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. As an Iranian Canadian, she became passionate about women’s rights upon witnessing the long-standing struggle of Iranian women for equality and conducting advocacy during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement. She is excited to explore the intersection of gender and global health with GENDRO.
Gabrielle Landry Chappuis, President
Gabrielle Landry Chappuis (M.A. in anthropology, specialized in medical anthropology and women’s health), Director Hi5 Safe Spaces, worked in global health for close to two decades, after working as a management and team trainer and academic editing and publishing. She joined the University Hospitals of Geneva to launch an international conference on Global Access to Health – the Geneva Health Forum, as Conference Director, and later joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as Head of Communication and Advocacy. She then supported the strategy, incubation and operationalization of the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership (GARDP), where she served as Head of External Affairs. She supported FIND as strategy, safeguarding, gender mainstreaming and diversity consultant and as Director of External Affairs.
At HI5 Safe Spaces she specializes in safeguarding; gender auditing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and organizational ombuds work to address psychosocial risk in the workplace. She also teaches at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland on corporate social responsibility; ethical leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; gender equality, and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. She serves on the ethics committee of the association for persons of trust in Switzerland (ASPCE). Gabrielle joined as a Board member of GENDRO in 2023.
Bernard Kadasia, Secretary
Bernard Kadasia is a senior level professional who brings together close to forty years of experience in technical, managerial and leadership positions in government, civil society, private sector, and international non-governmental organizations.
Until March 2015 Kadasia was employed by the International AIDS Society (IAS) Geneva as Deputy Executive Director and Director of Policy and Advocacy, Research Promotion and Communications. Prior to joining the IAS, he worked for 17 years for the International Co-operative Alliance as Director of the Regional Office for East, Central and Southern Africa, in Moshi, Tanzania and in Nairobi, Kenya.Since 2012 he is the President of the Geneva-based Alliance for Health Promotion, an international NGO in Official Relations with the World Health Organization. The Alliance has official UN ECOSOC Status. Kadasia is also a member of the Supervisory Board of North Star Alliance. North Star Alliance provides quality healthcare across Africa to mobile populations and the communities they interact with.
Olivia Mettler, Treasurer
Swiss national born in 1975, Ms. Olivia Mettler studied International Hospitality Management at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and graduated in 1999.
With more than 18 years of financial experience in multi-nationals and international non-profit companies, she is the Finance & Administration executive, member of the board of directors of the International AIDS Society (IAS). More recently, Ms. Mettler graduated in Enterprise Risk Management at the University of Geneva.
Aida Mechkene Chouru, Member
Originally from Tunisia, Aïda was born and raised in Switzerland where she studied Business Administration and Economics holding an MSc in Business Administration. She started her career in the private sector in various HR specialties and partnering roles and always strived to link her personal and professional paths with human and social outreach. Strong with her background in high-paced international environments in both Switzerland and Tunisia, she joined the INGO over a decade ago to contribute to organisations with high social impact. Aïda has continuously developed her HR toolbox to provide world-class HR skills such as conflict mediation and sensitive investigation expertise through hands-on support and servant leadership approach.