Council Commentary

Celebrating Four Council 120 Under 40 Winners

This week the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health announced 40 new winners of 120 Under 40’s New Generation of Family Planning Leaders project, including four outstanding Population Council colleagues representing Cambodia, Pakistan, and the United States. 

120 Under 40 is an annual event focusing on empowering young people to make informed decisions about family planning and reproductive health. The project aims to shines a light on “positive disruptions” being made by young leaders in family planning and increase awareness of family planning as critical to young people’s health and well-being. By 2020, the initiative will honor 120 leaders under 40 years who have made significant contributions to family planning at the local, national, or international level.

Population Council is pleased to announce four winners:

Ashish Bajracharya, Associate and Cambodia Country Representative
Ashish is a social demographer and policy analyst who specializes in issues related to gender, transitions to adulthood, and sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, young people and vulnerable groups. He also specializes in rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations of health systems strengthening and health financing interventions aimed at improving maternal, sexual and reproductive health, and family planning outcomes among poor and vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Elspeth Williams, Associate Director, Policy and Government Relations
Leading Policy and Government Relations for the Population Council, Elspeth oversees the institution’s work to ensure high-quality scientific evidence informs U.S. Government global health and development policymaking. These efforts link the Council’s research in more than 50 countries to advocacy efforts in Washington, DC in order to focus investments on proven programs and technologies.

Mansoor Qaisar, Senior Information Officer
Based out of the Council’s Pakistan office, Mansoor communicates information which is easy to understand, practicable, and in line with religious teachings. He has considerable experience in print and electronic media and undertakes the sensitive task of obtaining family planning endorsement from religious leadership. Mansoor facilitates efforts to develop a culturally acceptable communication strategy through seminars and meetings.

Thoai Ngo, Program Director, Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Thoai oversees efforts to develop and test innovative solutions, and scales up successful strategies to improve the well-being of adolescents, particularly adolescent girls, accelerate positive demographic trends, and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations to adapt to environmental shocks and stressors. Ngo also directs the Population Council’s new Girl Innovation, Research and Learning (GIRL) Center, which generates and translates high-quality evidence to transform the lives of adolescent girls.

Congratulations to all the 120 Under 40 winners!