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Dr. France Donnay

Consultant, Women's Health
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

France practiced obstetrics and gynecology in public and private hospitals as well as family planning clinics in Brussels from 1970 - 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.

In 2008, she joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Senior Program Officer for Maternal Health, in the MNCH team. There she managed a large portfolio of projects addressing maternal conditions, such as hemorrhage and preeclampsia, as well as maternal health programs in India, Ethiopia and other low income countries. She works closely with FP and newborn health experts, and contributes to updating and strengthening global MH and FP policies.

In August 2015, she decided to retire from the Gates Foundation in order to devote time to family, and friends, travels and art exhibitions, and she is working as a consultant and adviser on maternal and women's health issues.