Victor Igharo

2019 Winner

Position: Director, TCI Nigeria

Organization: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Current Location: Nigeria, (West) Africa

Masters Degree from Paris Graduate School of Management/Masters in in Business Administration (MBA)

Additional Degrees and Certifications:

Masters of Science in Public Health (MSPH in view)
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D)
Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree (B.Pharm)

“Victor’s leadership of the Challenge Initiative in Nigeria brought 10 States and 78 LGAs on board. This means those states and LGAs commit their own resources to increasing access to family planning services for women and girls, for sustainability.”


Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

To accelerate country progress toward the FP2020 goal & ensuring that no girl is left behind, I have supported FP programs in the last 6 years with the focus of integrating FP into comprehensive RMNCH programs, expanding access to FP services and expanding funding opportunities for FP. In the last 3 years, I have worked with my team to champion government-driven implementation of high-impact FP services targeted at 6mill women through a new business unusual model leading to 10states in Nigeria who voluntarily opted-in & committing almost $2million in funding. In the last 2 years, the number of states with a dedicated budget line rose from 3 to 10, the allocation for FP increase by 23% in the last year alone & over 700,000 women and girls accessed FP services through targeted interventions

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Witnessing my mother battle for her life with post-partum hemorrhage at a young age of 6 years (which she miraculously survived) was the first shock which ignited my passion for healthcare. More importantly, growing up to witness the struggles of women and girls, coupled with early career exposure to the health & social complexities associated with living in resource-limited communities in Nigeria further amplified my passion for ensuring that women can access FP as a tool for empowerment.

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

By leading a passionate team of young professionals, I have been able to motivate my team to success through the application of strategic leadership principles that involve: encouraging a culture of innovation, creating opportunities for fearless engagement and tactical risk taking, empowering teammates & beneficiaries (individual & communities) to be leaders and champions, and most importantly allowing women and young girls (who are the primary beneficiaries of our work) to be heard.

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? 

The 120 under 40 platform provides a platform for visibility and ‘championship’. As a winner, I shall explore the opportunity of visibility, voice, and fidelity which it provides to mentor other young professionals thus bridging the gap between passion and practice, and opening up spaces for a more concerted focus on FP as a long term career path. The grant will be a kickstart for the vision of a platform for amplifying the business case for FP as a tool for the attainment of the SDGs in Africa.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work: