Founder and Lead of the African Alliance, queer advocate and member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the COVID-19 vaccine (MAC) – mandated to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allocation framework for South Africa and provide recommendations to the MAC – Tian has, for nearly two decades, worked on a vast range of development areas with a track record of navigating and influencing policy and community spaces from “grassroots” to “grasstops”. Historically, Tian’s work centered around strengthening community-based and national networks of AIDS service organisations, access to education for girls, the prevention of gender-based violence, creating and sustaining networks of people with HIV and documenting South Africa’s integrated strategy for the prevention of, response to and support for survivors of sexual assault, billed by former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as a best practice model. While directing a national programme that sought to end rape in all forms of detention, Tian has also focused on inner condom programming and contraceptive access, vaginal microbicide programming models, the intersections of faith and sexual rights and conducted a review of comprehensive sexuality education models in 12 African countries.

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Tian managed the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights portfolio of a regional gender justice organisation as well as consulted on work that analyses the monitoring and mitigation of the impact of gender violence and HIV amongst sex workers in addition to co-authoring an analysis of women’s access to paralegal services in the context of HIV and gender-based violence in Sub Saharan Africa. Tian’s work includes setting up inner condom distribution, marketing and training centres in all nine provinces of South Africa as well as working with U.S. diplomatic missions in the region to move partnerships, resourcing and programming priorities further along the road towards gender transformative implementation. Tian currently sits on the Strategic Advisory Group for the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR) a five year USAID supported project that seeks to build and sustain an Africa-centred network for advancing advocacy, policy, regulatory, community engagement, and communications efforts to accelerate biomedical HIV prevention research.


Tian represents a global group of independent HIV Vaccine advocates, the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG) on the African AIDS Vaccine Virtual Network Steering Committee and convenes the VARG globally. The VARG is an independent, advocate led, global team of  AIDS prevention research advocates that play a critical liaison role in the highly complex field of HIV vaccine research. Tian advises on a range of innovative network building and civil society strengthening and accountability interventions in the region and is particularly keen on exploring ways in which civil society is held accountable for ensuring effective awareness, prevention and justice-based responses to sexual harassment within the sector. Tian also serves as the International Observer for Civil Society on the world’s leading international fund focused on funding regional and global networks led by and involving and serving inadequately served populations (ISPs) – The Robert Carr Fund. The fund is a cooperative effort of donors and civil society, structured to maximise participation, empowerment, equity, transparency and accountability in fundraising and grant-making. In 2020, Tian joined the Aidsfonds hosted Hands Off II Advisory Committee to provide expertise in reducing Gender-Based Violence amongst sex workers in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.