Onyinye Edeh considers herself “a global citizen who is very passionate about advancing population health.”
Edeh was named the 2016 Institute of Current World Affairs Fellow for her work on girls’ health and empowerment. Edeh, who is originally from Nigeria, plans to focus her two-year ICWA Fellowship on girls’ education and child marriage in her home country.
“As a trained global health practitioner and advocate for adolescent sexual and reproductive health, I understand the power in a girl’s voice and the dangers associated with silencing that voice,” she said in an ICWA announcement.
“During my ICWA Fellowship I intend to work with young people and their communities to understand the factors that propel child marriage and hinder girls’ education. My aim is to identify culturally-sensitive ways to address these critical problems.”
Edeh completed her MPH in global health and received a graduate-level certificate in the Global Health of Women, Adolescents and Children from the UW, as well as a graduate certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research from the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
After completing her studies, Edeh went on to work as a program assistant for PATH’s diagnostics group and technology solutions program. She then spent more than a year in Lagos, Nigeria, developing and implementing programs to promote young people’s health and development.
In 2015, Edeh founded the Strong Enough Girls’ Initiative, a nonprofit that empowers adolescent girls and young women through education, mentorship and life skills development. The organization has since built “a network of girls’ and women’s rights advocates who work together to achieve common goals while building each other up.”
Edeh is a recipient of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship and the Global Opportunities Health Fellowship. She has also been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative University as a “Commitment Maker.”