Marleen Temmerman

Marleen Temmerman is a candidate for the position of FIGO Honorary Secretary 2021–2023.

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Prof Dr Marleen Temmerman is a well-recognized global leader in women, adolescent and child health and rights.  She brings academic, training, research and clinical expertise to the table, as well as political, governance, diplomatic, management, advocacy, fundraising and leadership skills. She has a strong track record of working with governments, multilateral organisations, academia, professional bodies, development agencies, private sector, civil society, non-governmental and faith-based organisations, in a global and changing world.  She is known for strategic partnerships and communication skills and has the ability to build relationships and influence at the highest levels.

She is an experienced manager valuing team work in a multi-cultural environment with a style characterized by delegation, practicing results-based management and valuing accountability. She has extensive experience in governance, both as an organisation head and as an executive reporting to a board. Most of her work is in the international arena, particularly in collaboration with UN organisations such as WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNWomen and UNESCO, the European Union, the African Union and national governments, as well as with media and civil society. She has an excellent track-record in advocacy and fund-raising.

Language skills

Proficient in Dutch, English, French, with basic knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese Swahili and German.


Classics, O-L-Vr Ten Doorn, Eeklo, Belgium, 1970; Masters in Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium, 1978; Certificate of Tropical Medicine, ITM, Antwerp, Belgium, 1979; Board Certificate in Gynaecology, Andrology and Obstetrics, University of Brussels, Belgium, 1983; Masters Public Health, ULB, Belgium, 1987; PhD Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ghent University, Belgium, 1993; Management Training: Management Development Programme Ghent University Hospital, 2009.

Professional career


Director,Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya; Chair, Department Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya; UNESCO Chair on Youth Leadership in Science, Health, Gender and Education, Aga Khan University; Chair Pumwani Maternity Hospital Management Board, Nairobi County, Kenya; Concurrent Professor Fudan University, Shangai, China; Honorary Fellow University of the Western Cape; Emeritus Professor, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Previous positions

Director WHO- Dept Reproductive Health and Research, Geneva (RHR/HRP); Chair, Department Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium; Senator, Belgian Parliament; Vice-Dean, Faculty Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University; Director, International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent University.


Relevant Affiliations

Former important affiliations/memberships include: 1) the UN iERG (independent expert review group) created in 2012 to report regularly to the United Nations Secretary-General on the results and resources related to the Global Strategy for Women, Adolescent and Child Health– 2) the EWEC (Every Woman Every Child) platform created to catalyze a political movement to advance the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents everywhere; 3) the FP2020 Reference group, FP2020 is a global partnership to empower women and girls by investing in rights-based family planning; 4) the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the post-2015 world; 5) the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health, 6)Chair Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition; 7) Senior advisor for the WHO Cluster ‘Families, Women and Children’; 8) Senior Fellow in the Institute for Global Health Diplomacy in Geneva, as well as member of several professional bodies.

Current important affiliations/memberships include: 1) Member Scientific Advisory Committee, Chair of the HIV working Group of The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP); 2) Member FIGO committee for Human Rights, Refugees and Violence against Women; 3) Member of the UNFPA Global Advisory Council; 4) Member of the WHO Expert Advisory Group on Cervical Cancer Elimination; 5)Member of the AU-EU Advisory Group on Research and Innovation in Health; 6) Board member of PMNCH, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; 6) Board member of CUGH, Consortium of Universities Global Health; 6) Member of KOGS (Kenya OBS/GYN Society); 7) Member of the MOH Kenya covid19 response team; 8) Senior Advisor of Beyond Zero, the platform led by the First Lady of Kenya to support women and child health;


Available to view here

Publications (Hirsh index=63)

Available to view here.