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Susan Rich

Program Officer, Reproductive Health Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Susan Rich has over twenty five years of experience developing and monitoring grants for international reproductive health initiatives. She joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in March 2006. Before that Ms. Rich served as the Director of Women and Population for the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. In this role, Ms. Rich built partnerships between private philanthropy and UN agencies. She developed an advocacy strategy to mobilize global resources and improve policies for reproductive health. Priority areas were adolescent girls, reproductive health supplies, and the HIV/RH nexus. Prior to joining the UN Foundation she served for ten years as a Senior Program Officer for the Wallace Global Fund in Washington, D.C. She identified priority areas for focus and cultivated initiatives to address them: the global shortage of contraceptives and reproductive health supplies, European advocacy, adolescent reproductive health, and harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation. Ms. Rich has a Master's degree in African Area Studies and a Master's in Public Health from University of California, Los Angeles. She speaks two African languages, Yoruba and Hausa, and is recognized for her extensive background in cultural aspects of women’s reproductive health in Africa. She has served as an advisor to CNN and ABC networks on African women's health. From 1984-1995 Ms. Rich worked in the program division of Population Action International and ultimately became Director of the Special Projects Fund. This Fund supported innovative reproductive health programs in 18 developing countries. She is a leader in philanthropic circles and is immediate past Chair of the Board of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Rights and Health, an affinity group of over 50 private foundations.

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