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Principal and Head of Gender, Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) and Localisation, Abt Britain

Leisa Gibson, the Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) senior advisor and practice lead for Abt in Britain, has more than 20 years of international experience working for governments, the United Nations, and civil society organisations. Her expertise includes strategic and operational planning, program formulation and delivery, change management, coordination and partnerships, quality assurance, and targeted interventions. She works on such issues as disability, development, inclusive leadership, gender and gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian action, child marriage, women’s economic empowerment, and organisational capacity development.

As a senior member of our International Technical Practice (ITP), Leisa leads GEDSI consultancy teams and advises programs in health sector strengthening, GBV prevention and response, governance, and GEDSI mainstreaming. She directs research, program design, capacity building, and programming in GEDSI for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)-funded Abt programming in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Leisa led the development and launch of Abt’s GEDSI Framework and the associated organisational response to GEDSI programming. As an ITP lead, she manages a technical specialist team across programming for Abt in Britain.

Leisa previously was a GEDSI and development senior consultant, providing technical advisory services to development agencies in East Asia and the Pacific on such issues as GBV, inclusive leadership, health, water and sanitation, public policy, early pregnancy, girls’ education, and menstrual health and hygiene. Before that, she served as Regional Gender Advisor for UNICEF in Eastern and Southern Africa, providing technical advice for 22 country offices. She served as the First Secretary for development for the Australian High Commission in Nairobi and has worked for AusAID. She started her career with homelessness and GBV organisations in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe.


  • Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion mainstreaming in development and humanitarian programming
  • Inclusive leadership
  • Women’s economic empowerment
  • Gender based violence
  • Adolescent girls programming

Key Projects:

  • Costing the impact of intimate partner violence and the resources required to address it: A multi-country research study in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands PNG Australia Pathways to Health
  • Systems Strengthening for Effective Coverage of New Vaccines in the Pacific
  • Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (Ascend)
  • Australia - PNG Governance Partnership Project - Decentralization and Citizen Participation
Leisa Gibson