UNITE
SECRETARIAT

UNITE’s Secretariat is comprised of a multidisciplinary team, whose aim is to support the Global Board and UNITE Network in pursuing our collective goal of ending infectious diseases as a global health threat.

The Secretariat’s actions are developed through direct interaction with UNITE’s Members and by fostering partnerships at all levels. These include:

  • Supporting the role of UNITE members of parliament
  • Bridging the gap between policy makers and key global health stakeholders to achieve communicable disease elimination
  • Representing policy makers and promoting the need for political leadership on the global health agenda
  • Connecting policy makers with experts in the field
  • Incorporating and translating scientific research and data driven information for political decision making, leading to policy change

AMISH LAXMIDAS

Executive Director

If you speak to Amish over the phone or in person, you’ll find out that with UNITE he has found a strong sense of purpose. Since he joined the organization, Amish has been deepening his passion for global health and international development.

Born and raised in Lisbon, and with a strong love for his Indian origins, Amish is a firm believer in the power of networking, partnerships and community, which led him to transition from UNITE’s Head of Strategic Partnerships to UNITE’s Executive Director in January 2021. Since the beginning of his journey at UNITE in 2018, UNITE’s policymakers and global health partners can confirm his commitment to reaffirm political leadership as the key determinant for global health.

Amish has a personality that motivates, connects and never stops dreaming. While working at UNITE, obtained an Executive Master in Management with a Specialisation in Leadership, and he had the opportunity to be the president of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association in Brussels – a public diplomacy NGO that connects euro-Atlantic networks in promotion of global democratic values.

Passionate about Italian food and Lisbon’s sunny rooftops, Amish is always available to foster UNITE’s mission of ending infectious diseases as a global health threat by sharing UNITE’s key element of success: its policymakers.

Eléonor Silva

Head of Parliamentary Engagement

Eléonor is responsible for UNITE’s Parliamentary engagement and impact. She studied Law, followed by Communications, holding two Master's degree from both Université Paris Dauphine and CELSA Paris Sorbonne. 

After a diplomatic experience at the French Embassy in Brazil, she joined the Global TB Caucus, where she handled advocacy efforts in the Portuguese speaking countries. While she was there, she coordinated the official the launch of a network of parliamentarians aiming to achieve political impact in the fight against TB.

She has found a true vocation in global health advocacy, where she can exercise her passion for politics and external relations while creating a positive impact, working for global wellbeing.

On weekends, Eléonor can be found camera in hand, taking pictures or filming in the streets. Her first documentary premiered in a movie festival last fall.  

Rebeca Marques Rocha

Policy Officer

Rebeca is responsible for delivering the Drug Policy program from UNITE in partnership with international partners. She holds a BA in International Relations by the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) and a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration by the Central European University, specialising in drug policy and global governance.

Over the years, Rebeca has developed extensive international experience working, studying and volunteering in diverse drug policy contexts, such as Portugal, Brazil, Georgia, Spain, Italy and Hungary. She contributed to the work of important civil society organisations focused on human rights and harm reduction, such as the Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa (Brazil), Georgian Harm Reduction Network (Georgia) and Kosmicare (Portugal).

Rebeca likes to believe she has inherited a green thumb from her grandmother - her main goal is to have a small tropical forest inside her apartment in Lisbon. When not talking about drugs (policy) or the last issue from The Economist, Rebeca also enjoys listening to music and discovering new artists.

ANKITA NAUTAMLAL

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Ankita is currently leading UNITE’s Marketing and Communications department.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Advertising from IADE - Faculty of Design, Technology and Communication and she also holds a course in Leadership from the Harvard Business School.

Ankita’s creativity, eagerness and multi-skills - in Marketing, Communication, Design and Branding have given her the opportunity to work with startups and small business from around the world on giving their first-steps.

When out of the office, you can find Ankita cooking & baking plant-based dishes whilst exploring cousins from around the world. When not in the kitchen, she loves to spend her time designing portraits or reading about the newest topics on Marketing & Branding.

JOSÉ PARENTE

HEAD OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS

With over 20 years of working experience in finance and administration, acquired mainly in Portugal, Africa and China, José is an experienced director having worked at non-profit organisations with women at risk, exploited sexual workers and HIV/AIDS population for more than a decade.

José believes that a good team and a positive attitude can make a difference and even a small but significant gesture will inevitably turn the world into a better place.

ÓSCAR MADUREIRA

Legal Advisor

Lawyer and Legal Counsel. Member of Portuguese Bar and Macau SAR Lawyers Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. Currently is head of Macau SAR Law firm Lektou branch in Portugal. Worked in Macau SAR for 11 years 5 of them as Senior Legal Counsel of Melco Resorts & Entertainment. Has strong experience assisting Portuguese and overseas NGO’s with their daily operations and is also a founding member of Portuguese NGO “Mundo a Sorrir”.

VICTORIA GRANDSOULT

Head of External Relations

Victoria’s background is in mental health, pediatric health, and business development. Before joining UNITE, Victoria worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she managed community partnerships. Victoria landed in Lisbon to complete her graduate degree in Human Rights and Democratization from the Global Campus of Human Rights (EIUC) & NOVA. Victoria also holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas. When not in the office, Victoria enjoys running, traveling, and gardening.