After the passing on of Rev Phumzile Mabizela in July 2021, the International Network of Religious Leaders Living With or Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA+) Board of Directors set  out to find a candidate with the right vision and experience to lead the organisation. Following a comprehensive search, the Board of Directors of INERELA+ is delighted to announce that Munya Mandipaza has been appointed as the Executive Director effective 1 June 2023. A highly skilled and dynamic professional with profound expertise in leadership, policy design, strategy, programmes and evaluation, she has a strong history of orchestrating operational excellence, crisis management, systems strengthening, resource mobilisation and partnerships. Munya is a principled development specialist by profession who holds several impressive academic qualifications which include a Social Sciences Degree, Masters in Development Studies, and Management Advanced Program.

As an accomplished executive and well networked leader, she has devoted 18 years of her career to cumulatively work with alliances, networks and leading Christian international development NGOs globally in partnership with major international donors where she has held a number of senior management positions. She has a sterling reputation as a non-profit executive who is committed to driving positive social outcomes, durable change, creating and accomplishing relevant strategic goals. She has worked with diverse stakeholders across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.  

Munya has passionately and professionally involved herself in improving the lives of marginalised groups and countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable and people-centred development having served in different capacities on a number of national, regional and international programs in the Non-Profit sector. A leading luminary in gender equality, sexual reproductive health and rights, poverty eradication and youth empowerment, Munya is also a fierce advocate of social justice particularly the reduction of stigma, discrimination, health disparities and promotion of sustainable socio-economic development towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. She believes in mobilising the power of mass communication and storytelling to document social, policy and organisational change and facilitating multi-stakeholder engagement for consensus building. Ms Mandipaza continued building an exceptional career at INERELA+ spanning four years where she has been a key member of the Management Committee. She gained valuable exposure and leadership experience, satisfactorily delivering across a range of senior roles at INERELA+ when she served as (Programmes Manager from April 2019 to August 2020, Deputy Director Programmes – September 2020 to June 2021, Acting Executive Director – July 2021 to May 2023.

With an enviable track record for navigating demanding and complex environments, since July 2021 when she has been the INERELA+ Acting Executive Director, she has not only worked hard to build on the incredible legacy left by her predecessor Rev Phumzile Mabizela but went on to weather the storms of the COVID -19 pandemic and to steer INERELA+ through some significant leadership and operational challenges. Throughout her term as Interim Executive Director, the board observed her commitment to openness, steady hand, strategic mind, and authentic leadership style which has been both refreshing and truly welcomed.  She has demonstrated outstanding leadership, strong commitment, dedication and loyalty to the organization, her team, partners and stakeholders.

Ms Mandipaza brings in a unique breath of knowledge, experience, global perspective, and a core understanding of INERELA+ mission and vision. It is fitting that Munya’s leadership be recognised, and we believe that she is well placed to be a purposeful leader at this time of growth, development, and transformation of the organisation. Armed with these qualities, we look forward to her charting a direction for the network which preserves the values and moral leadership of INERELA+ while re-invigorating the network’s engagement across the globe.

We wish to thank Munya for her contribution during this time and we look forward to working with her as she leads an exciting future for the network and the embedding of INERELA+ vision of championing a world free of HIV driven by a comprehensive faith-based response.

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