France Donnay

France Donnay

For a full and up to date CV, please email:

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Maternal and neonatal health; reproductive health, including family planning and cervical cancer; health systems and quality improvement strategies; patient centered approaches; policy advances and evidence based advocacy.


Program design, implementation plans, policy dialogues; collaboration between partners such as governments, development agencies, public and private health care providers, and patients/users organisations; coaching for individuals or groups with public health interests.

France Donnay, MD, FRCOG, FACOG, MPH is currently an independent consultant, with a focus on women’s health policies, programs and practices. 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 MerckforMothers, 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.


France is Belgian, and lives between Seattle, WA, USA and Brussels, Belgium; she worked as an obstetrician gynecologist for 17 years before joining the UN then the Gates Foundation; she loves to travel and work in diverse cultures; French is her native language, she is fluent in English and has a fair knowledge of Spanish and German. For a full CV, email France at the address at the top of this page.