Position: Technical Advisor, Family Planning
Organization: Jhpiego
Current Location: United States
MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
BA, Peace Studies, College of St. Benedict, May 2007
SMART Advocacy Facilitator, February 2018
Design Thinking for Innovative Problem Solving, May 2019
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Decade Award
    Awarding Organization:
    College of St Benedict
    Date Awarded:
    June 23, 2017
75 Public Votes Reached!
Megan is unrelenting in her drive to seek novel solutions for universal access to contraception. Her leadership in the global implant removal taskforce and mobilizing for contraceptive technology development are game-changers for expanding choice. – Ricky Lu, FP/RH Director at Jhpiego
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As a family planning technical advisor at Jhpiego, I have the immense privilege to learn from teammates worldwide and connect insights across our entire FP portfolio. With this vantage point, I’ve supported new method introduction in ten countries, relaying best practices and anticipating common pitfalls before they arise. I’ve heard the frustrations of healthcare workers and collated evidence to garner donor investment on the supply of FP consumables. I’ve also liaised with researchers to improve understanding of LARC removal accessibility, around the world and at home in the US. And I’ve pressed, in published commentaries, for more attention to rights and quality, resolving our private sector blind spots, and to position FP for benefit from the most promising scientific discoveries.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

For me it’s not a single spark, but a billion little flames from which I draw my passion for family planning. It comes from everywhere and everyone, including my own contraceptive decision-making and use, that of friends and family, and the nearly one billion women and girls around the world with demand for FP. It shakes me that such a central, universal part of our lives is dominated by the political will to control it, ultimately stalling advances on critical research and access gaps.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I’m proud to have co-founded and to co-lead the Implant Removal Task Force. This body, comprised of manufactures, donors, research institutions, and implementers, exists as the result of a humble learning: that we don’t always get it right from the start, but have the power to change our outcomes. This origin, plus the collaborative spirit we’ve cultivated together, are inspiring. For thought leadership, championing curiosity and open-mindedness are central to how I lead.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

New perspectives are powerful for unleashing creative and innovative breakthroughs. Engaging experts across multiple disciplines not only expands participation, but it sparks the imaginative juices we need to achieve big aims like universal access to family planning. I would use the grant to fund the inclusion of, or exposure to, experts from other disciplines in upcoming family planning convenings.

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