FP2020 is governed by a Reference Group, which sets the overall strategic direction and drives coordination among the partnership’s stakeholders. The Reference Group members are drawn from governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, donor agencies, and the private sector, and are accountable for ensuring that 120 million more women and girls have access to voluntary family planning information, services and contraceptives by the year 2020.
Dr. Chris Elias
President of the Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program, leads the foundation's efforts in integrated and innovative delivery, finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in developing countries who need them most. Focusing on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach hundreds of millions of people, Dr. Elias oversees Global Development's portfolio in Agriculture Development; Family Planning; Financial Services for the Poor; Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health; Polio; Vaccines Delivery; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; and Special Initiatives.
Dr. Elias's background is in health and medicine, most recently having served as the president and CEO of PATH, an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors. Dr. Elias currently serves on various advisory boards, including the Nike Foundation and the Duke Global Health Institute.
Dr. Elias holds an MD from Creighton University, having completed postgraduate training in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and an MPH from the University of Washington. He was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Creighton University.
Dr. Natalia Kanem
Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
Dr. Natalia Kanem assumed the role of Executive Director on Oct. 3, 2017, bringing to the position more than 25 years of strategic leadership experience in medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy. She started her career in academia with the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health. While serving as a Ford Foundation officer from 1992 to 2005, she helped pioneer work in women’s reproductive health and sexuality, in particular through her position as the Foundation’s representative for West Africa. She then served at the Foundation’s headquarters, becoming Deputy Vice-President for its worldwide peace and social justice programs in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America. Dr. Kanem was founding president of ELMA Philanthropies Inc., a private institution focusing primarily on children and youth in Africa. She served there from the institution’s inception until 2011. From 2012 to 2013, she was a senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies, which is dedicated to development in the Caribbean.
Since 2014, Dr. Kanem had been serving as UNFPA Representative in Tanzania. Dr. Kanem holds a medical degree from Columbia University, New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Health, with specializations in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is also a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied History and Science.
In Memoriam With Deep Gratitude: Mourning the Loss of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Leader, Women’s Rights Champion, and Friend
Dr. Osotimehin, former-United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, passed away on June 5, 2017. He served tirelessly as a co-chair of the FP2020 Reference Group from 2012 to 2017.
* New member as of June 15, 2017
** Seat transition as of June 15, 2017
FP2020 Reference Group Meeting: Oct. 12-13, 2017 (Abuja, Nigeria)
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