Taraneh Salke is the founder and executive director of Family Health Alliance (FHA), a nonprofit organization focused on advancing women's reproductive health and rights in underdeveloped and resource-poor environments.
Traveling to some of the most underserved and underdeveloped communities in the world, Salke lived and worked with the Turkushvand tribe, a nomadic tribe in the mountains of Kurdistan, and with Afghan women refugees in Iran.
As FHA's director of programs, she has worked extensively on advocacy and women's health issues in Afghanistan, conducting over 30 workshops for health professionals there. Her understanding of Afghan culture, fluency in the local language, and ability to work closely with locals has led to new innovative and successful public health programs in Afghanistan.
In particular, she surprised the world with her controversial decision to educate and involve Afghan men in advancing women's health rights in Afghanistan, but ultimately earned respect for the success of her program, which led to concrete policy changes at local and government levels in the Middle Eastern country.
From her experience working in Afghanistan promoting women's health, Salke produced the short documentary film Where Are the Men?, which has won seven awards and recognitions to date and was screened at universities, film festivals, and various organizations around the country. In 2013, she received a Woman of the World Award, which is sponsored by 50/50 Leadership and the United Nations and recognizes "women who are impacting lives throughout the world."
Taraneh Salke also lectures regularly about women's global health issues at conferences, universities, and women's organizations. She received a bachelor's in cultural anthropology from the University of California-Los Angeles and a master's in public health focusing on international family planning and reproductive health, as well as the role of gender in Islamist societies.