Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana is an executive leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. She has nearly 25 years of public health experience, particularly management of reproductive and maternal health programs in challenging contexts affected by climate shocks, political coups, and conservative movements.
Based in Burkina Faso, Ms. Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana currently serves as Pathfinder’s President, Africa. In this role, she is accountable for the impact and strategies of Pathfinder’s programs across 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These countries are Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
Leading Pathfinder from Burkina Faso, she is an exemplar in the localization of global health programs. Early in her career, she studied the management of local NGOs in West Africa and gained important experience building their organizational capacity. In addition to being President, she currently manages donor funds on behalf of Burkina Faso’s government, ensuring their proper use and preparing the government to receive funding directly, without an international NGO as intermediary.
Ms. Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana joined Pathfinder in 2016, opening the organization’s first office in Burkina Faso. Under her leadership, Pathfinder has strengthened services at more than 850 health facilities and opened five additional offices in the country.
Previously, in Ouagadougou, Ms. Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana managed programs for the Population Council and the HIV and AIDS Alliance. While based in Kenya, she also spent time as a team leader for the International Planned Parenthood Federation in West and Central Africa.
Ms. Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana has post-master’s in education and development, with specialties in gender studies and NGO management, and degrees from University of Lille in France and the University of Ouagadougou.
As a woman who grew up in Burkina Faso, I don’t take for granted what it took to grow my career and live the life I want. With an education, strong female role models, and the basic resources to succeed, I developed confidence in myself and agency to make the most important decisions in my life—about my career, my relationships, my body, marriage, and childbearing. I now lead an organization that helps other women to do the same.Lydia Saloucou, President, Africa, Pathfinder
French, English, Moore and Dioula (local Burkinabe dialects)
Areas of Expertise
- Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights
- HIV & AIDS
- Advocacy & Policy
- Gender Equality
- Women’s Economic Empowerment
- Women-Led Climate Resilience
- Health Systems Strengthening
- Human Resources for Health
Awards & Notables
- Knight of the Order of the Stallion of Burkina Faso, 2020
World Health Assembly 76, Geneva CH, May 20-26:
- Alliance for Gender Equality and UHC Side Event: SRHR: An essential Component of UHC – May 22
- Meeting the health needs of women and girls in venery phase of life
Women Deliver 2023: