Since December 2015, Professor Dr Marleen Temmerman joined the Aga Khan University East Africa as Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and as Director of Women’s Health and Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences. For the last 3 years she was the Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva. RHR is the main instrument within the United Nations for research in Women’s health, bringing together policy-makers and programmers, scientists, health care providers, clinicians, consumers and civil society, advocates and women’s groups, to identify and address priorities for research to improve women’s health from a rights- based perspective.
She is a full Professor OB/GYN at the Ghent University in Belgium, currently with leave of absence. She is the Founding Director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health (ICRH) at Ghent University with sister organisations in Kenya and Mozambique, and a large global collaborative network. She has a strong academic background with over 400 publications and books in the area of women’s health, many PhD students in Europe, Africa, Latin-America and China, and several awards and honours.
As an obstetrician she supervised over 18,000 births in many parts of the world, unfortunately with too many preventable maternal deaths. Her interest is women’s health and rights. In 2007, Dr Temmerman was elected as a Senator in the Belgian Parliament where she was member of the Commission on Social Affairs, and chair of the Commission on Foreign Affairs. In that capacity, she was a member of the European Parliamentary Forum and chair of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. She served as a member of the iERG (independent expert review group), installed by the UNSG to raise the accountability in the ‘ Every Woman, Every Child’ platform to accelerate MDG 4 and 5. She is one of the main penholders of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children and Adolescents’ Health, launched by the UNSG and partners in September 2015, transitioning from the MSGs to the SDGs. She is also a member of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on SRHR in the post-2015 world.