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Madhu Deshmukh


Vice President of Program Strategy and Impact

Madhu Deshmukh headshot

Madhu Deshmukh is currently the Vice President of Program Strategy and Impact at CARE. In her role, she leads a team that serves as an architect of CARE’s programmatic strategies for scaling impact for poor and marginalized populations, especially women and girls, around the world. She provides leadership and oversight on thematic areas including Food and Water Security, Education, Health and Equality Rights, Gender Justice, and relationship management with CARE Member Partners. She leads a team with a mandate to generate, harvest, cross-fertilize, fund, communicate, and promote the practical application of technical knowledge, insights and analysis throughout CARE and beyond.

A proven leader and innovator of effective global health and social development programs with a specific focus on social and gender justice, Madhu holds 29 years of extensive experience with leading global organizations including CARE, ICRW, UNDP/WHO, UK Government’s DFID, and Government of India. Madhu has worked across the globe on issues related to HIV, Sexual and Reproductive health, Gender Equality, and Women’s Empowerment.

During her 13 years with CARE, Madhu has successfully built and led a global HIV/AIDS team, built an Integrated Family Health Initiative in Bihar, India, acted as interim CEO of CARE India, and most recently led the CARE Member Partners (CMP) Program Partnerships function. She also served as the leader of the 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, sexual and reproductive health, adolescent girls, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, and girls’ education. 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 and analysis, program design and management, 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 the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and loves music, travel, and reading.