Samantha Willan, MA

Ms. Willan is the capacity development manager for the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Programme, DFID’s flagship program aimed at preventing violence against women and girls.

Predominantly based in South Africa, Ms. Willan has more than 15 years’ experience in the prevention of violence against women and girls, gender equality, sexuality, and HIV and women’s rights, with a particular focus on southern and eastern Africa and South Asia. Her work spans research, capacity development, training and policy influencing.  Previously, Samantha co-founded and was project lead for the gender equality and health program at HEARD (formerly known as Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division), which undertook research and programming to prevent violence against women and reduce women’s HIV risk. Before that, she was policy advisor on HIV/AIDS and gender at VSO International, and information manager for the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 

Ms. Willan has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal).