Global Parenting Initiative Executive Team Bids farewell to Outgoing Future Leaders Representative Jennel Reyes

Global Parenting Initiative Executive Team Bids farewell to Outgoing Future Leaders Representative Jennel Reyes

Jennel Reyes

The Global Parenting Initiative is committed to equitable governance and capacity sharing that further our goal of supporting leadership and excellence in the Global South. As part of this commitment, every year a representative from our Future Leaders Programme* is elected to the Executive Team, where they contribute to the governance and executive decision making for the organisation.

Jennel Reyes’ tenure as Future Leaders Executive Representative for the 2022-2023 year has recently ended. We caught up with Jennel about her experience sitting on the Executive Team.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?

I am the Programme Director of Parenting for Lifelong Health - Philippines, the lead of Parenting with Social Welfare System in the Philippines, and a GPI Future Leader. My research interests include parenting intervention programmes and community- based programs.

Can you tell us a little bit about what the Future Leaders Executive Representative does?

The main role of the Future Leader representative is to ensure that the perspectives and voices of young leaders from the Global South are included in the decision-making processes and strategic direction of GPI. The representative acts as an advocate for the concerns, interests, and priorities of young leaders from the Global South within the GPI. In addition, the Future Leader representative contributes to the equitable governance and capacity sharing objectives of the GPI. The representative plays a crucial role in ensuring that the GPI remains inclusive, diverse, and responsive to the aspirations and challenges faced by young leaders from the Global South.

What did you enjoy the most about this opportunity?

There were a number of things - first, I had a better understanding and appreciation of the GPI and all the other aspects of it - seeing it from within. Second, I was able to work and collaborate with individuals who possess exceptional intellect, creativity, and expertise. It was an environment brimming with intellectual stimulation and thought-provoking discussions. That's a surreal experience for me. Lastly, it was a great opportunity for me to represent the GPI Future Leaders, to amplify our voices and perspectives from the Global South. It was fulfilling to be a conduit for their ideas, concerns, and aspirations, and to advocate for their inclusion in decision-making processes.

What were some of the challenges of this opportunity?

For me, it was challenging to contribute meaningfully to discussions and decision-making processes due to my little or limited background and expertise. I had to deal with complex and multifaceted issues that require in-depth knowledge and expertise which I felt I lacked. The other members of the GPI Executive Team did not make me feel that way though. They were supportive and encouraging the entire time and I eventually learned the process along the way.

What did you find most valuable about this opportunity?

Working with the GPI Executive team has truly been a transformative experience. It has broadened my perspective and stretched my capabilities as a leader. It has been a privilege to be surrounded by individuals who constantly push the boundaries of knowledge, inspire creativity, and embody the pursuit of excellence. I always admire how GPI Executive members work and listen to one another - every voice was heard and every person was seen. I consider this as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

How do you think this experience will impact your career and work going forward?

This experience has been nothing short of remarkable! The opportunity to collaborate with such exceptional individuals has not only accelerated my personal and professional growth but has also made me realise the immense power of collective intelligence and collaboration in driving innovation and positive change. I am grateful for the invaluable skills and lessons learned, and the lasting impact it has had on my own journey of growth and development as an early career researcher and as a leader.


Speaking on behalf of the Executive team, GPI Lead Dr Jamie Lachman said:“Jennel has been an invaluable member of the GPI Executive team over the past year. Her contributions and presence have made a significant impact on the initial stages of the GPI reflecting her years of experience conducting trials in the Philippines and working on complex international collaborations. The team has immensely enjoyed her positive energy and commitment to the GPI leadership!”.

A new GPI Future Leader has now been elected to take over from Jennel.  Dr Amanda Sim, Principal Investigator on the Parenting on the Thailand/Myanmar Border study, will be serving as the Future Leaders Executive Representative for the year 2023-2024.


*The GPI Future Leaders Programme brings together our incredibly talented group of early career professionals working on GPI projects around the world, offering them opportunities for training and shared learning, mentorship, and networking.