FIGO appoints Frances Longley as new CEO

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has today announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. Frances Longley will join FIGO in July 2023, bringing with her more than 25 years of leadership and governance experience in domestic and international charities.

Frances has substantial experience as an advocate for women’s rights and especially their right to sexual and reproductive health. She has a strong track record growing successful and effective organisations and championing healthy and inclusive cultures. Together with a broad network of volunteers, Frances will lead FIGO to deliver on its ten-year strategy through four key pillars: education, research implementation, advocacy, and capacity building. 

“As the global voice for women’s health, FIGO promotes the wellbeing of women and raises the standards of OBGYN practice around the world. We carried out an international search for an individual with a track record of established leadership to collaborate on the global scale with our member societies, regional federations, partners and to help drive forward our ambitious strategic plan. We have found that person in Frances and are pleased to welcome her to FIGO.” – Dr Jeanne Conry, FIGO President 

Frances will replace current FIGO CEO Professor Mary Ann Lumsden, who has led FIGO since 2020 and is retiring this year to focus on academic and personal endeavours and her family. On her appointment, Longley said: 

“I am delighted to be joining FIGO at such a critical time for the status of women’s health and rights around the world. As a committed advocate for this work, I am proud to be taking up the CEO position at FIGO – an organisation with a unique global role in improving the health and wellbeing of women, girls and newborns and advocating for their rights.” – Frances Longley 

Frances was ActionAid UK’s first woman CEO in its 50-year history. Prior to that she worked with CARE International UK as Executive Director for Programmes & Policy, following four years as Chief Executive of Amref Health Africa UK. She held senior interim roles with Unicef UK. 

Frances was appointed as chair of the UK NGO sector working group on Leadership and Culture for Safeguarding in 2018. She regularly writes and speaks on the role of leadership and culture, and has provided consultancy and mentorship to organisations and individual leaders.  

Frances is a board member at the Joffe Charitable Trust, a member of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee and sits on the University of Oxford Social Sciences and Humanities Research Ethics Committee. She has a Masters in Development Studies from SOAS University of London. 


Notes to editors

Frances Longley headshot

Frances Longley FIGO CEO 2023

About the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

FIGO is a professional membership organisation that brings together more than 130 obstetrical and gynaecological associations from all over the world. FIGO’s vision is that women of the world achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives. Our work to achieve this vision is built on four pillars: education, research implementation, advocacy and capacity building. 

FIGO leads on global programme activities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and  South East Asia. We advocate on a global stage, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and wellbeing, and non-communicable diseases (SDG3). We also work to raise the status of women and enable their active participation in achieving their reproductive and sexual rights, including through addressing  female-genital mutilation (FGM) and gender-based violence (SDG5). 

We also provide education and training for our Member Societies and build capacities of those in  low-resource countries through strengthening leadership, translating and disseminating good practice  and promoting policy dialogues. 

FIGO is in official relations with the World Health Organization and consultative status with the United Nations. 

Statements and Press Square FIGO circle logo


Rob Hucker
Head of Communications, Engagement and Events

+44 (0) 7383 025 731