Family Planning 2020 Welcomes New Government and Institutional Partners to the Reference Group

Leaders from Canada, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, and Uganda, as well as Faith to Action Network, and Population Council join newly expanded governing body for FP2020

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2017) – Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), the global partnership dedicated to empowering women to access and use quality, rights-based family planning information, services, and supplies, today announced the newest members of its Reference Group, which provides overall strategic direction to the partnership.

The new Reference Group member composition increases the number of FP2020 focus country representatives and adds a leader from the faith-based community. These additions are expected to strengthen country leadership on the group and reflect the diversity of expertise and perspectives within the FP2020 partnership. FP2020 Reference Group members are drawn from governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, donor agencies, and the private sector. The new Reference Group members will hold their first official in-person meeting this October in Nigeria.

The rotation of the Reference Group comes at a timely moment, as the global community prepares to convene in London this July to recommit to FP2020 goals by focusing on proven solutions and broadening and deepening our network of partners to deliver progress and bring these solutions to scale.

“The FP2020 Reference Group represents a powerful visionary force in the global family planning movement that can help drive meaningful change and expansion of country programs,” said Beth Schlachter, FP2020’s Executive Director. “Particularly at this time of political transition and financial uncertainty, having more diversity of experience and perspective reflected among this leadership group will help build strength and resilience across the FP2020 platform as the community works towards 2020, and ultimately toward universal access as laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Reference Group is co-chaired by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the newly constituted FP2020 Reference Group comprises:

  • Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Uganda*
  • Jennifer Adams, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development**
  • Hon. Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria
  • Dr. Ian Askew, Director, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization
  • Anna Wechsberg, Policy Director, U.K. Department of International Development**
  • Margaret Bolaji, Youth Reference Group Member, Program Officer, Population & Reproductive Health Initiative
  • Julia Bunting, President, Population Council*
  • Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation
  • Simon Cooke, Chief Executive Officer, Marie Stopes International
  • Dr. Tim Evans, Senior Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, The World Bank
  • Helga Fogstad, Executive Director, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health**
  • Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
  • Hon. Dr. Myint Htwe, Union Minister of Health and Sports, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar*
  • Hon. Professor Olivier Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Health, Ministry of Public Health, Democratic Republic of the Congo**
  • Hon. Professor Nicolas Meda, Minister of Health, Ministry of Health, Burkina Faso*
  • Tewodros Melesse, Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • Secretary C.K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
  • Dr. Ahmed Ragaa A. Ragab, Vice Chairman, Faith to Action Network*
  • Secretary Dr. Paulyn Rosell-Ubial, Secretary of the Department of Health, Philippines**
  • Sarah Fountain Smith, Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Affairs, Canada*

The governments of Burkina Faso, Canada, Myanmar, and Uganda will assume seats on the governing body for the first time, represented respectively by Hon. Professor Nicolas Meda, Ms. Sarah Fountain Smith, Hon. Dr. Myint Htwe, and Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.

The Faith to Action Network and Population Council will also join the Reference Group, represented respectively by Dr. Ahmed Ragaa A. Ragab and Ms. Julia Bunting.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Philippines, U.K. Department of International Development, and the United States Agency for International Development, are continuing their terms, but have designated new representatives.

Reference Group membership rotates annually to ensure that a diverse range of FP2020 stakeholders are represented over time. FP2020 expresses its sincere appreciation to members who are rotating off the Reference Group this year – the partnership has benefited enormously from their leadership, dedicated service and unwavering commitment to women and girls. Those members include:

  • Dr. Idrissa Maiga Mahamadou, Niger
  • Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania


*     New member
**   Seat transition



For further information contact:

Jessica Schwartzman
Reference Group and Partner Relations Director, FP2020