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Thoai Ngo

75 Public Votes Reached!
Thoai Ngo - 2017 Nominee
Position: Program Director, Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Organization: Population Council
Current Location: New York City
Ph.D. from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
MHS, Global Disease Epidemiology and Control, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Certificate in Vaccine Science & Policy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Certificate in Health & Human Rights, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar
    Awarding Organization:
    Rotary International
    Date Awarded:
    May 1, 2008
  • Award:
    Best in Class Research
    Awarding Organization:
    International Conference on Family Planning 2013
    Date Awarded:
    November 15, 2013
Thoai is finding more effective, efficient & affordable ways to ensure the sexual and reproductive health of men, women & young people around the world. The new Girl Center, which he directs, helps shape programs & policies to improve girls' lives. – Ann Blanc, Vice President, Social and Behavioral Science Research at Population Council
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I work across cultures and institutions to create strategic partnerships with donors, governments, and practitioners who share a commitment to evidence-based solutions to global SRH challenges. At the Population Council, I oversee research efforts across 30 countries to develop and test innovative solutions, and scale up successful strategies to improve the well-being of adolescents and accelerate positive demographic trends. At IPA, I was responsible for directing IPA’s corps of 500+ research staff to conduct 250 impact evaluations on poverty reduction interventions. I helped build Marie Stopes Global Research Program across 40 countries. My research (50+ papers) has been used to inform international (e.g., WHO) and national guidelines, policies, and programs on SRH.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I was asked to join Marie Stopes to help build its global research department. MSI sent me to Ghana where the team was asked to give a talk about family planning to a group of young people. A young woman stood up, and said, “Well, you know, I never heard about you guys. And I’m a college student.” She told us that she has an older partner, so the decision to use a contraceptive method to prevent unwanted pregnancy wasn’t hers. Her words were powerful, and helped me think about FP differently.

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

To ensure innovative and proven methods of service delivery for SRH are being used, I sought to expand technical assistance to and secure the support of national governments in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, I lead a team comprising of local experts in collaboration with Vietnam MOH to gather evidence and design a new national family planning model. I have trained a number of local researchers and practitioners, and mentored M.Sc. & Ph.D. students to work on SRH issues.

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? :

I would ensure that governments, donors, and the public and private sectors place adolescents at the forefront of social and economic development. We need to address the needs of adolescents, especially girls, through a multi-sectoral approach before puberty begins. I will continue to champion for evidenced-based investment, policies, and programs that improve SRH for adolescents. I will use the grant money to help support a young researcher to work with me at the Council's GIRL Center.

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