Rukia Cornelius

National CEM Acting Manager


Rukia has worked in health and development for over 14 years. Premised on a human rights framework that holds governments accountable and fosters active citizenship through campaigning, advocacy and lobbying; her work has focused on HIV, Ending Violence, Women’s Rights, and the Right to Health, with a particular interest in health systems strengthening and health financing. She has worked in South Africa, Regionally and Globally.

Over the years she’s held Executive Director and senior operational and programmatic positions, allowing her to contribute effectively to organisational development. In her most recent position as the Programme Director for the World AIDS Campaign, she focused on strengthening national health platforms to advocate for effective development and implementation of National Strategic Plans on HIV, TB and Malaria.

She coordinated an Africa Regional Civil Society Advocacy Platform on Health as well as “More Money for Health, More Health for the Money” – a pioneering health initiative that brings together all the Geneva-based health agencies including the World Bank to collaborate and harmonise their work around resource mobilisation for health in Africa.

Before joining the World AIDS Campaign, Rukia worked in the rural Overberg region of the Western Cape on a sustainable development project, and prior to that worked as the National Manager of the Treatment Action Campaign. Since 2010, Rukia has spent her spare time volunteering as the Deputy Chairperson of an international organisation based in Cape Town that focuses on opening spaces for addressing sexual orientation and gender identities in the Muslim community. Rukia is committed to building a healthy society that ensures social and economic justice for all.