Dr Ian Askew is the Director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, which includes the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). In this role, he provides leadership on critical aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights by: shaping the global research agenda and coordinating high-impact research; setting norms and standards for delivering sexual and reproductive health services; articulating ethical and human-rights-based approaches; strengthening research capacity of institutions in low- and middle- income settings; and guiding efforts to achieve WHO’s vision of a world in which all people attain the highest possible standard of health and well-being, including their sexual and reproductive health. A social scientist by training, Dr Askew has led research over three decades that has developed and tested interventions for improving access to and use of sexual and reproductive health services, with a particular focus on health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Examples include community participation in primary health care, improving the quality of reproductive health services, multisectoral approaches for addressing the needs of adolescents, integrated strategies for delivering comprehensive services, especially for STIs including HIV, evaluating community and health system efforts to encourage abandonment of FGM, and innovative financing mechanisms for reproductive health services. Before joining WHO in 2016, Dr Askew lived in Kenya for 25 years and worked in multiple countries throughout the region.