Pratima Kale has acquired a wealth of experience in international development for the past 35 years, dealing with issues ranging from rural and urban development to child rights-based programming, institutional management and leadership, at community and national levels and at regional and global levels.
Pratima received her Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and returned to India in 1971 to work with The Ford Foundation where she evaluated family planning training and school education programs of Indian government; worked with local NGOs working on rural development throughout the country; organized and conducted studies of rural development programs in India and Sri Lanka. She then served as Director for the Asia and Pacific region at Save the Children-US from 1977 to 1984, launching its community-based rural and urban development programs in eight countries in South and South East Asia and the Pacific Region while supporting ongoing programs in Bangladesh, Indonesia and South Korea.
From 1984-1998, Pratima worked with UNICEF, first as Representative in the Philippines, later as Chief of Asia Section in New York and Regional Director in Bangkok, and finally as Special Advisor to the Executive Director in New York. On leaving UNICEF in 1998, she assumed the presidency of the international NGO - International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), a training and research institute with a 50-year track record of rural reconstruction, training, research and publications on rural development in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In recognition of her work, Pratima received honorary doctorates from SNDT Women's University in Bombay (1991), University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001) and University of the South, Sewanee (2003). For "distinguished service to children" she received national honors from the governments of the Philippines (1990) and Viet Nam (1997). In January 2006, Pratima received an award from the President of India "in acknowledgement of (her) outstanding achievement in the field of rural development."
Pratima looks forward to continuing her international and rural development work while teaching graduate courses on development to emerging development workers, planners, scholars and managers.