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Madhu Deshmukh


Vice President, Program Strategy & Innovation

Madhu Deshmukh headshot

Madhu Deshmukh is currently the Vice President of Program Strategy and Innovation at CARE. In her role, she leads a team that that provides strategic and technical leadership for CARE’s global programs & for scaling impact for poor and marginalized populations, especially women and girls. She provides leadership and oversight on thematic areas including Food and Water Security, Climate Justice, Women’s Economic Entrepreneurship, Education and adolescent empowerment, Health Equity & Rights, Gender Justice, as well as cross functional support teams including Innovations, Thought Leadership & Program Design.

A proven leader and innovator of effective solutions and programs, Madhu holds over 30 years of extensive experience with leading global organizations including CARE, ICRW, UNDP/WHO, UK Government’s DFID, and Government of India.

In her work with CARE, Madhu has successfully built and led a global HIV/AIDS portfolio, set up and led one of the largest health programs in Bihar, India, served as a CEO of CARE India. She also served as the leader of CARE’s global Health Equity & Rights (HER) team. Prior to this role, Madhu served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for ICRW (International Centre for Research on Women & Girls) Asia Regional Office providing leadership and support to action research on issues related to gender. Madhu has also served as the Director for Health, Gender and MNCH at the UN Foundation, where she led a global program partnering with WHO and several global NGOs focusing on innovations and use of technology for maternal and newborn health with a gender and women’s empowerment lens.

Madhu’s experience includes leadership, strategy, innovation and solution designing, program management, thought leadership and partnerships for scaling impact. She was recently featured in “Phenomenal She – 100 Inspiring Women Leaders in India.”

Madhu holds a Masters Degree (MA) in Social Sciences from India. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and loves music, travel, and reading.