RAE DR. MARY SHAWADr. Mary Shawa is a retired Principal Secretary commonly known as Secretary in the Government of Malawi who served in the Ministries of Health, Office of the President and Cabinet responsible for Nutrition, HIV and AIDS; Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare; and Transport and Public Works from 2004 to 2018 who rose through the ranks in the civil service.
She has worked all her life in civil service until retirement in 2018 and she currently works for Plan International Malawi as a Chief Advisor. She holds a PhD in Nutrition with a bias in public health and socioeconomic; a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics; Post Graduate Diploma in Food Resources Related to Community Development all from University of London; and a Diploma in Agriculture from Bunda College of Agriculture University of Malawi. She has specialised certificates in Gender, SRHR, Environmental Conservation, Sex and Sexuality, Management and Economic Empowerment. She has represented Malawi at various fora as a resource person, presenter and delegate; and was very instrumental in the SDGs and AU Agenda 2063 the Africa We Want negotiations. She is an initiator of a number academic programmes in Nutrition, Dietetics, gender and youth. She is a researcher and has published papers in journals and received a number of accolades. She chairs a number of boards including the Regional University Forum for Capacity Development in Agriculture (RUFORUM) Finance and Administration Committee a network of 170 member African Universities from 40 countries with representation in all the continents. She also Co-Chairs the Nutrition Society of Malawi and has always fought for girls and women’s rights; empowerment of marginalised groups; and believes in role modelling and mentorship. She currently chairs the leave no one behind (LNOB) a member of the International Civil Society Centre (ICSC) for LNOB Malawi Coalition of 6 members namely: Plan International Malawi (PIM); Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (CSAT); CARE Malawi; Do For Children; (Malawi Network of Older Persons (MANIPO); and National Planning Commission (NPC) of Malawi. The coalition is collecting and lobbing for the inclusion of Citizen Generated Data (CGD) into the National Statistics Office (NSO) to amplify voices of marginalised groups to decision and policy making discussions to inform strategies and programme implementation which target marginalised groups that include people in emergencies and achieve the LNOB commitments. She is a President of the Legion of Mary for Maula Senatus. She enjoys working with young people and Coordinates Catholic Scout and Guide. She is also coordinating the 1.8 billion adolescent wellbeing (AWB) a global call to action and amplification of their voices. Changing the world to be a better place to leave for everyone is one of her goals. She strives to do her part to contribute to the goal. She has joined the Mpatapo capacity building forum as a stepping stone the achievement of the goal.