President and CEO
Suzanne Ehlers, President & CEO of Population Action International, has worked for the last 15 years to promote women’s health, rights and empowerment across the globe. Ms. Ehlers has carried out this work at PAI for the past decade and has led the organization since 2009.
Ms. Ehlers and PAI build the case for women’s health as an integral development issue that impacts everything from the environment, to state stability, to food security. Under her leadership, PAI leads U.S. and global advocacy for international family planning, and provides key technical and financial resources to partners in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. She recently led PAI through a consultative and comprehensive strategic planning process that laid out ambitious yet achievable goals for the family planning and reproductive health movement as well as PAI. These 10-year goals will move us toward a world in which every person has access to high-quality, effective and affordable family planning and reproductive health services.
Ms. Ehlers has repeatedly served on the U.S. government delegation to the United Nations’ Commission on Population and Development. She is also a founding member of the reestablished Global Health Council, and she is an Environmental Leadership Liaison for Rachel’s Network, a network of women leaders dedicated to the stewardship of the earth. Ms. Ehlers has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Janelia Family Foundation and The Biodiversity Project as well as the Steering Committee of the Asia Pacific Alliance, a Bangkok-based reproductive health group.
Ms. Ehlers is a frequent speaker on reproductive health issues and has been profiled by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, National Journal and Grist. She was honored as one of Devex’s “40 under 40” International Development Leaders for 2011 and as a 2012 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Prior to joining PAI, Ms. Ehlers was an Associate Program Officer at the Wallace Global Fund. At Wallace she supported a grantmaking portfolio that broke new ground in the fields of sustainable forestry and international financial institution reform, as well as laid the early foundation for philanthropic engagement on climate change.
Ms. Ehlers served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic (CAR) following her graduation from Cornell University with a degree in Government. Ms. Ehlers speaks French and Sango (language of the CAR) conversationally and is an avid traveler and baker. She resides in Washington, DC, with her husband and two young daughters.
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