Q&A with Task Force Board Member Geeta Manek

A second-generation Kenyan businesswoman, Geeta Manek  is a real estate developer, Rotarian, and Task Force Board Member who works to make the world a better place through public health advocacy. 

By profession, Manek’s work in real estate consists of development and management of residential and commercial properties. Her family real estate business is based mainly in Kenya with a small portfolio in the UK and USA. Manek is also very involved in Rotary International, one of the largest service organizations in the world. Manek was the first female District Governor of Rotary District 9200, from 2013-2014, which then comprised Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Eritrea. She has served as Rotary International President Representative in USA, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria and is a liaison between the Ministry of Education in Kenya, Rotary International and The Global Partnership for Education. In 2016, Manek was honored by Rotary International with the prestigious Service Above Self Award.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from The College for the Distributive Trade in London in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Relation and Tourism and in 2019 she received an honorary doctorate of humanities from The United Graduate College and Seminary International.

Manek joined The Task Force board in April 2021. We caught up with Manek to learn more about her interest in this work:

How did you learn about The Task Force and why did you want to get involved with the organization?

Quite honestly I did not know much about The Task Force until a Rotary friend introduced me.  Perhaps he noticed my interest and passion for public health. I believe he may have particularly observed my participation and advocacy in immunizing children against polio and other preventable diseases. I had begun to admire the work of The Task Force which was doing some remarkable work, especially in disadvantaged communities, and giving those in marginalized regions equal opportunities and access to good health. 

What aspects of The Task Force’s work do you find particularly interesting?

The Task Force’s work on infectious diseases and global health security is particularly relevant and exciting. It reinforces my belief that to achieve positive peace and harmony we must work at averting all preventable diseases and generally remove all barriers to improved health. I see that the Task Force is making a huge difference in these areas and helping restore the dignity of marginalized populations, through using evidence-based practices. Overall, The Task Force’s work is highly significant and impactful in addressing global health challenges and improving health outcomes, and I find the approach to be particularly exciting and interesting.

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of The Task Force board and what opportunities do you see for the board to support our work?

My goal as a member of the Task Force board is to try and make a positive impact by contributing my perspective to the organization’s mission and working towards achieving its objectives. I alone would make a small difference but by working collectively with the other board members, we can achieve better outcomes. I would use my knowledge, especially in the local context in Kenya, to provide insight, offer solutions with a unique perspective of the situations on the ground, and most importantly collaborate with the other board members to make informed decisions that strengthen the organization and benefit the communities that we work with.

What particular skills or experience do you bring to the board that inform the ways you think about and contribute to our work?`

I have been actively involved in fund development and philanthropy work. Over time, I have met some passionate and generous donors who genuinely understand that their contributions are key to making a deeper impact on critical challenges like public health, economic opportunities, and generally in making the world a better place, whether it is through providing access to education or clean, safe water. I believe that mobilizing donors is important for the board to do to increase the impact of The Task Force.

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