Mallika Tharakan is a social scientist with a Master’s Degree in Social work from the Tata Institute of Social Work (TISS). She currently holds the position of Deputy Director, Communications and Community Interventions in IHAT. Her core areas of support are in programme design, communications, community mobilisation, and advocacy in the areas of HIV/ AIDS prevention, maternal neonatal and child health, nutrition, community institution building, prevention of violence against women, and adolescent girl’s education and health. She has led strengthening of decentralised approaches through grass root community structures for enhancing health outcomes in rural Karnataka. She is actively involved in strengthening governance practices at the organisational level through developing policies and systems for their implementation. She oversees the networking, communication and partnerships initiatives for IHAT. Her prior stint as a reporter with the New Indian Express enabled her to be actively involved in developing media advocacy strategies for mainstreaming of marginalised groups within the HIV/AIDS programme. She has held leadership roles in the implementation of projects supporting field level teams closely.