Bathsheba Okwenje

16 years as a communications and advocacy specialist working on HIV, health and human rights, nationally, regionally and globally. Experience with the United Nations.

Communications and Advocacy

Conceptualized and produced publications, films and campaigns for a variety of audiences across multiple platforms, including online environments, galleries, print, broadcast and social media covering a range of thematic areas including:

  •  Gender (specifically women, girls and transgender people)
  •  HIV (response and prevention)
  •  Human rights
  • Crisis affected environments
  •  Censorship


Developed and nurtured key strategic partnerships with a wide range of sectors including regional economic bodies, regional Parliamentary fora, national and local government, civil society, private sector, press corps and media organizations. Worked collaboratively on:

• Regional / national policy reviews and amendments
• Regional / national advocacy agendas and related programmes
• Regional / national programme communication strategies
• Various declarations of commitment

Media Relations

Managed media relations and engagement;

  • Co-convened a regional Editors forum 
  • Organized press conferences and press trips
  • Proposed stories, drafted op-eds, produced media materials;
  • Developed curriculum and taught a graduate level class on Aesthetic Journalism (RISD);

Strategic Planning

Provided strategic direction and oversight on the development, implementation and management of:

  • UNAIDS / The Champions for an HIV-free Generation strategic plan and resource mobilization strategy (2020 - 2025)
  • Femwise  -  Africa communications and resource mobilization strategy (2019)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) HIV and Health communications strategy (2015-2016);
  •  Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) communications and advocacy strategy for Eastern and Southern Africa (2008 – 2010; 2010 – 2012);
  •  Advocacy agenda and high-level engagement for the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV and AIDS in Africa (2007-2008);
  •  Communications strategy for the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa (2001 – 2005).



UNAIDS, Consultant, Organizational Change Communications (2021)

UNAIDS / The Champions for an HIV-free Generation, Consultant, Strategic Plan (2020)

Firoz Lalji Center for Africa / London School of Economics, Visiting Fellow, (2019-2022)

Nabagereka Foundation, Remotely from Rwanda
Consultant, Communications (2019)

UN Women / FemWise, Consultant, Communications Specialist (2018)

UNDP, USA & remotely from Uganda. Consultant, Communications & Knowledge Management Specialist  (2015 - 2017)

UNEP, Uganda. Consultant, Green Growth Strategy (2014)

UNAIDS, South Africa. Regional Advocacy and Communications Officer  (2008 – 2012). 

UNAIDSSouth Africa. Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa (2007-2008)

UNAIDS, Switzerland. Executive Officer to the Executive Director (2005 – 2007)

UNDP/Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Namibia and Switzerland. Communications Officer (2001 – 2005)



Masters of Fine Arts, 2014, Rhode Island School of Design

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