Dr. Ayesha Sitlani
Associate Vice President, Antibody Strategy
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
Dr. Ayesha Sitlani brings a unique and valuable combination of professional experience and board service experience to her role as President of the Wardlaw+Hartridge Board of Trustees. Having actively served on the Board for six years in various capacities, Dr. Sitlani was appointed as the first female President of the W+H Board.
"I am humbled, honored and extremely excited to take on this role and the challenges that come with it, during such unprecedented times in our lives," said Dr. Sitlani, who lives in Metuchen with her husband, Dr. Adrian Looney and their daughter, Jini Looney '25.
Dr. Sitlani has chaired the Programs Committee, co-chaired the Early Childhood Task Force, and served on the Committee on Trustees (COT), Executive Committee and Development Committee during her six years on the Board. She believes that her experience and years of collaboration with Board colleagues and W+H administrators have prepared her to take on this challenging role.
"The board members I have worked with are true leaders, and a reflection of the diversity and sense of strong community that the school stands for. The Board works as a collaborative team, respectful of diverse opinions and with an amazing commitment to the school," Dr. Sitlani said. "I have also learned so much from past Presidents and the Head of School. As President of the Board, I share this commitment and look forward to working with the Board, the Head of School, and the administration.
Dr. Sitlani currently works as Associate Vice President at IAVI, a non-profit global health organization that is dedicated to translating scientific discoveries into global health solutions, with a focus on finding solutions for infectious diseases including COVID-19. She's leading an initiative to bring together public and private partners to drive global and equitable access to affordable new medicines. Prior to this role, she served as Executive Director at Merck and Co., Inc. for almost 20 years in various leadership roles supporting the research and development of innovative medicines. Dr. Sitlani is confident these experiences in for-profit and nonprofit organizations have prepared her to serve the school and provide strategic leadership to the Board. Dr. Sitlani firmly believes in the school's mission and her primary goal as new Board president is to continue to support and strengthen it during these challenging social and economic times. She believes W+H is poised to be a leader and role model for other schools in its response to these global challenges.
"As President of the Board, I plan to work collaboratively with the Board, the Head of School, and the administration to ensure that despite turbulent times, W+H will provide the best and most in'novative educational solutions for our students and will remain true to supporting our mission of diversity, educational excellence and a sense of community," Dr. Sitlani said.
Dr. Sitlani understands that difficult times are ahead, but she's excited about the opportunity to lead the school and build on its tradition of excellence.
"My personality is one that embraces challenges and I like being a problem solver, so I am not too apprehensive about taking on this role. While the road will not be simple given the current times, I am confident that the Board and the school administration will work collaboratively to find the best solutions and raise the level of excellence of the school," Dr. Sitlani said. ''The school has a strong foundation built on the core values of our mission, with a dedicated and talented Head of School, administration and faculty. While we face uncertain times in the world, I believe that such times can create new and important opportunities for us as a school."