Gillian Greer, CBE, Ph.D.

Dr. Gillian Greer has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2018.  Dr. Greer most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Women of New Zealand.  From 2012 to 2017, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Service Abroad, a New Zealand non-profit organization that sends volunteers to work with partner organizations in the Pacific and Asia region.  From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Greer served as Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world’s largest international sexual and reproductive health non-profit organization, working in 172 countries providing advocacy, education and sexual and reproductive health services, including maternal health, HIV/AIDS, family planning and adolescent health.  During this time Dr. Greer also worked closely with UN agencies and governments to advocate for investment in health and human rights and served on the Board of ICON PLC, a global distributor of IPPF reproductive health commodities.  

Prior to her work with IPPF, Dr. Greer served as Executive Director of the Family Planning Association of New Zealand where she was involved in international and regional advocacy training and initiatives, including chairing the Asia Pacific Alliance which included government agencies, funders and NGOs across the Asia Pacific region.  From 1996 to 1998 Dr. Greer was Assistant Vice Chancellor Equity and Human Resources, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Dr. Greer’s early career was in education at secondary and tertiary levels. Dr. Greer has also served in a governance capacity for a number of charities and a university Council, as well as advisory panels to New Zealand Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  From 2012 to 2017, Dr. Greer served as a Trustee of WomanCare Global International, a U.K. charity focused on empowering, educating and enabling women and girls to make informed choices about their health. She also served as a Director of WCG Cares, a U.S. non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to directly engage in and/or fund the development and implementation of programs that promote reproductive healthcare.  

Dr. Greer holds a B.A. in English from the University of Auckland and a Ph.D. in New Zealand Literature from the Victoria University of Wellington. Throughout her career Dr. Greer has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to health, education, sustainable development, women’s empowerment, and human rights. Dr. Greer is passionate about strengthening civil society and building high performing organizations that are effective, ethical, and accountable and can clearly demonstrate their impact.  Dr. Greer was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to family planning in 2005 and she was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to international health and women’s rights in 2011.  Dr. Greer continues to be in high demand as a speaker, facilitator, chairperson, and board member.