Anita Kawatra is the chief architect of International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) global communications activities, advising the board of directors, CEO, and senior management team on all aspects of external and internal communications. She maintains relationships with core constituencies around the world and oversees the organization’s publications.
Prior to joining IAVI, Kawatra had a 20-year career in life sciences and pharmaceuticals. As executive vice president at Edelman, she advised global health care firms on communications and public affairs. In her 12 years at Elan Pharmaceuticals and its spinoff, Prothena Biosciences, she headed Elan’s scientific relations, public affairs, and corporate marketing and communications, then served as head of external affairs and adviser to the CEO of Prothena. Prior to joining Elan, Kawatra oversaw corporate and executive communications at Merck and media relations and crisis management at Merck-Medco.
Kawatra served in the administrations of New York City Mayor David Dinkins and New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and was Mayor Dinkins’ chief of staff following his tenure in office. She is a board member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Sanctuary for Families, and GrowNYC. She has served as an adjunct professor at New York University.
Kawatra holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. from Columbia University.