WomenStrong International Board Member
Robin Smalley, an Emmy Award-winning television director/producer/writer, is co-founder of mothers2mothers, a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support to pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
After a successful Emmy Award-winning career as a television director/producer/writer, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers, a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
m2m trains and employs local mothers living with HIV as Peer Mentors—community healthcare workers who provide services in understaffed health clinics and communities. These ‘Mentor Mothers’ educate and support women and their families to overcome barriers to medical care, and ensure they receive the medication and health services they need and stay in treatment.
Currently, m2m operates throughout 10 sub-Saharan countries. Since 2001, they have employed almost 12,000 HIV-positive women who have reached more than 14.5 million people with life-changing health services and virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV for the past 8 consecutive years!
As m2m’s first Executive Director, then its Chief Connector, Robin has helped guide the organization through almost twenty years of extraordinary growth. m2m has been recognized as inducing transformational change, establishing itself as an intrinsic part of the health care landscape of sub-Saharan Africa. m2m and Robin have been honored at the White House and have been the recipients of many prestigious awards including the Skoll Entrepreneurial Award, the Schwab Entrepreneurial Award, the Ashoka Fellowship, the Global Health Council’s Best Practices Award, and the Henry Kravis Leadership Award.
Robin is a frequent lecturer/speaker on the importance of gender health equity and the professionalization of frontline health workers at many leading academic institutions including USC, UCLA, and Yale and continues her stewardship of m2m on its Board of Directors. She is married to architect Jeffrey Smalley, has two daughters, and continues to maintain her membership in the Directors Guild of America.