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France Donnay

France Donnay, MD, FRCOG, FACOG, MPH is currently an independent consultant, with a focus on women’s health policies, programs and practices. For example, she is currently consulting with UCSF and Ariadnelabs/Harvard School of Public Heath on quality care at childbirth in Kenya and India, with WHO on a new partograph, and with Marketing For International Development on applying user centric design to achieve better outcomes for mothers and newborns. She also works as a coach for institutions as well as individuals, policymakers, practitioners, advocates, in need of growth and development, and engaged in women’s health and other public health issues. She is Adjunct Professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine/New Orleans, member of the Advisory Board of Merck for Mothers, as well as member of the Executive Boards of Jacaranda Health and Operation Fistula.

From 2008 – 2015, France Donnay was Senior Program Officer, Maternal Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She managed a large portfolio of research addressing the main causes of maternal and neonatal mortality. During her tenure, the Gates Foundation contributed to several large implementation initiatives in many countries including India and Ethiopia. She worked with many organizations active in the MNCH field, represented the Foundation in global and national conferences, and contributed to developing and updating the Foundation’s MNCH strategy.

France practiced obstetrics and gynecology in public and private hospitals as well as family planning clinics in Brussels from 1975 - 1993. Because of her interest in maternal health in developing countries, during these 15 years she also worked as a consultant to the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). With Doctors without Borders, she practiced as a MH specialist in places such as Chad and Cambodia. She was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.

In 1994, France joined UNICEF and worked on safe motherhood policies and programs. She transferred to UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund) in 1999, where she was in charge of reproductive health technical support at Headquarters from 1999 to 2005, before leading the UNFPA office in Pakistan from 2005 to 2008. She has visited and worked in many countries in all regions of the world.

Her mother tongue is French, she is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

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