Elspeth Williams is an international women's health and gender equity policy expert. Williams leads Policy and Government Relations for the Population Council, a leading global research organization, to inform U.S. policymaking on international reproductive health, HIV prevention, and girls’ education and rights. In this role, she oversees efforts to link the Population Council’s research in more than 50 countries to advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, in order to focus foreign assistance investments on proven programs and technologies. She has advocated for gender-equitable policies at the United Nations, the World Bank, the White House, State Department, USAID and on Capitol Hill.
Prior to this, Williams worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Advocacy team, building new partnerships with governments, multilateral institutions and partner organizations to galvanize progress towards Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). As a grants manager, she funded and partnered with global advocacy organizations pushing for increased political commitment and financial investment needed to ensure quality family planning. Also at the Gates Foundation, Williams also served as Chief of Staff to the Global Development President.
She began her career in East and Central Africa with CARE International working on health, economic and education programming.
Williams was recognized as a 120 Under 40: The Next Generation of Family Planning Leaders winner by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and Bayer.
Williams holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins University, with a concentration in Women’s and Reproductive Health, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Sub-specialties: Reproductive Health Policy; Global Reproductive Health; Reproductive Health Research & Development; Family Planning Technologies; Maternal and Newborn Health; Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; Global Girls' Education; Global Girls' Empowerment; Global Gender Based Violence; Global Comprehensive Sexuality Education; United States Foreign Assistance
- Activism and advocacy
- Gender-based violence
- Human rights
- International development
- Public health
- Reproductive health
- Science and Technology
- Sex education
- Sexualized violence
- Social justice
- Violence against women
- Women and Politics
- Women's empowerment
- Women's issues
- Women's leadership
The Global Gag Rule Still Matters
Ms. Magazine [January 23, 2018]
120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders Pecha Kucha
Speaker at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health [September 14, 2017]
Women’s Health and Human Rights: A Call to Action in the Age of Trump
Panelist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health [December 12, 2016]