Dr Princess Nothemba (Nono) Simelela, from South Africa, is the Special Adviser to the Director-General on Strategic Programmatic Initiatives at WHO. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents. Dr Simelela has more than 30 years of experience as an obstetrician, academic, advocate and government official. Most recently, she served as Special Advisor to the Vice-President of the Republic of South Africa on Social Policy, which included supporting the multisectoral, government-wide response for HIV. Previous senior leadership roles included serving as Chief Executive Officer of the South African National AIDS Council and Director of Technical Knowledge and Support for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Dr Simelela has presented and published widely on women’s health and contributed to the development of key guidelines such as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.