13 May 2011, LONDON: The President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is pleased to announce that its Governing Council has appointed Mr.Tewodros Melesse to be the next Director-General of IPPF, the world’s largest sexual and reproductive health NGO.
Mr Melesse has held the post of Regional Director of IPPF’s Africa Region since 2002, where he has been responsible for managing IPPF’s response to a broad range of health and development challenges in 44 sub-Saharan African countries.
An Ethiopian national, Mr Melesse studied economics at the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium. He began his career in family planning and reproductive health in 1984 and worked at US-based reproductive health NGO Pathfinder International and IPPF before becoming director of IPPF’s Africa Region.
As Regional Director, Mr Melesse played a pivotal role in providing technical and management support to the African Union in the development and adoption of the Continental Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy Framework and the Maputo Plan of Action, in collaboration with UNFPA/Africa.
He said: “Every day, in countries around the world, IPPF plays a critical role in delivering life-saving health care to the poorest and most marginalized communities. Ensuring greater access to services and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive rights of all people will be a priority over the next five years.
“Delivering better sexual and reproductive health services and outcomes for women, men and young people plays a central role in development globally, but especially among the poorest communities. My vision for the future is to develop IPPF’s national Member Associations as centres of excellence, delivering services to marginalized and under-served people around the world, and ensuring governments recognize the importance of sexual and reproductive health to sustainable development and human rights.”
Mr Melesse also paid tribute to the out-going Director-General: “Dr Gill Greer brought new thinking and ideas around sexual rights. She has been a tireless human rights activist who has worked to ensure access to quality services to the most marginalized and hard to reach populations.”
Dr. Jacqueline Sharpe, President of IPPF, said, “I’m delighted that IPPF has found from within the Federation a new Director-General who is a highly skilled, deeply committed and motivated individual capable of continuing the work of taking the Federation forward in the coming years.”
A committed advocate, Mr Melesse will provide continuity in implementing IPPF’s strategic priorities and vision. He is expected to take up the appointment within the next few months following the retirement of current Director-General, Dr Gill Greer.
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International Planned Parenthood Federation is a non-governmental organization, a network of 153 national member associations, working to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights for all people in 174 countries worldwide.