OBE Award for Coalition Chair
18th June 2013
Julia Bunting, Chair of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, has been awarded the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to supporting reproductive health (RH) in developing countries. The OBE is awarded annually by HM Queen Elizabeth II to those playing a major local role in an activity, including people whose work has made them known nationally in their chosen area.
Ms. Bunting has been the Coalition Chair since June 2009. In this capacity, she has helped bring lasting change to the face of RH supplies work. She initiated the Coalition’s HandtoHand Campaign – which laid the groundwork for last year’s high-profile London Family Planning Summit. She also initiated discussions with Merck to establish the Implanon Access Initiative which yielded price reductions for contraceptive implants to low-income countries. This initiative generated savings sufficient to provide a million additional women with Implanon, helping prevent unintended pregnancies and averting thousands of maternal and newborn deaths.
Commenting on the award, Coalition director John Skibiak said, “I have always known Julia to be a formidable thinker and strategist. Her single-minded commitment to changing the landscape of reproductive health – of getting the products to the 220 million women in need of contraceptive supplies today – drives Julia to think beyond the obstacles, and to demand what others might deem impossible. The Coalition could not have hoped for more inspired, more driven leadership.”
Ms. Bunting is the Director of the Programmes and Technical Division at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), London. She began her career at the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) where she worked in the Demography and Health Division. She then worked at the UK Department of Health as an Assistant Statistician before transferring in 2000 to the UK Department of International Development (DFID). In 2009, she was appointed Team Leader of the joint AIDS and Reproductive Health Team. In this role, she oversaw the publication of DFID’s Framework for Results for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health – Choices for Women: Planned pregnancies, safe births and healthy newborns. Ms. Bunting initiated and led, on behalf of the UK Government, the London Summit on Family Planning held in July 2012.
“The Coalition and its members have been instrumental in moving international RH work to a bigger, more ambitious phase – they really have demonstrated the power of partnership,” said Ms. Bunting. “I feel privileged to have been a part of this over the last four years – the Coalition has provided me with so many opportunities to do work that I feel passionate about.”