Poonam Muttreja is the Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India (PFI), New Delhi. She has over 40 years of experience in development – setting up and heading NGOs, contributing to policy and advocacy, creatively building a field, improving organizational capacity, strengthening communications for social good, promoting innovations and scaling up pilots, making grants, teaching, advising, and mentoring.
Poonam has co-conceived the popular, transmedia initiative, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon - I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything launched by PFI in 2014. In its third season, the program has introduced an Artificial Intelligence powered chatbot – SnehAI, a first of its kind initiative for a behaviour change communication initiative in India.
Poonam is an advocate for women’s health, reproductive and sexual rights, family planning, public health and rural livelihoods. She serves on the panel of the Advisory Group for Community Action for Public Health, National Commission for Population, and other committees of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. She is the civil society focal point for FP2020 of the India country engagement group, on behalf of Advocating Reproductive Choices (ARC), after having served as founding member in the FP2020 Reference Group. She has written several opinion pieces for the print and online news media, and appears regularly on televised debates and discussions relating to gender equality, women’s rights, health and development.
Poonam is a member of the Governing Council and Board of Action Aid India, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, the Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Health. She is also a General Body member of Save the Children India. Before joining PFI, Poonam served as the India Country Director of the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation for 15 years. She has also co-founded and led the Ashoka Foundation, Dastkar, and the Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI).
Poonam holds an undergraduate degree from Delhi University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.