IAPB is delighted to welcome three new staff to our communications and advocacy teams.
Courtenay Holden – Communications Officer
Courtenay Holden has over 15 years of experience in the sector. Her background is deeply rooted in eye health and disability awareness. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and equity for all, and over her career she has championed eye health services for children and women globally.
Courtenay is an enthusiastic new member of our team, and brings with her a wealth of experience in strategic communications, social media management and public relations. Having moved from Australia to Canada, she thrives working with global teams and said, “I am thrilled to be working at IAPB and supporting IAPB global initiatives and the amazing work of the partnership network. It is wonderful to experience everyone working together to make an impact.”
Brooke Blanchard – Policy and Advocacy Manager
Brooke comes to IAPB with over 10 years of professional experience in international human rights advocacy and humanitarian programme management. She has worked in East Africa, the Caribbean and South America on issues including early forced marriage, child labour, education, livelihoods, and women’s health. She conducted high level research and advocacy at the UN for the Children and Armed Conflict Agenda and developed partnerships with community-based organizations in areas of protracted crisis and severe socio-political unrest, including the DRC, Mali, CAR, Colombia, Nepal and the Philippines. These partnerships were utilized to help report on grave human rights violations including, gender-based violence, child soldier recruitment, attacks on education, and denial of humanitarian aid. Brooke obtained her MA in international Affairs from Columbia University in New York and currently resides in the Mountain West, United States.
Junu Shrestha – Policy and Advocacy Manager (IPEC Implementation)
Junu is an optometrist and public health professional from Nepal. She has more than six years of clinical and managerial experience in eye health having worked for the Reyukai Eiko Masunaga Eye Hospital in Kavre and the Health Foundation in Nepal. Junu has a Master’s in Public Health from Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University with a focus on Willingness to Pay for Spectacles in Patients with Refractive Error and recently completed a MSc in Health Policy Planning and Financing at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). She is an awardee of the prestigious UK government Chevening Scholarship and is an IAPB Eye Health Hero 2020 in the future leader category. Junu has been actively involved in advocacy for the integration of eye health in general health services and for the recognition of optometrists in Nepal, as an executive committee member of Nepalese Association of Optometrists. She contributed to the Vision Screening March Month 2020, a national campaign recognised by the Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal.