en English
ar Arabiczh-CN Chinese (Simplified)nl Dutchen Englishfr Frenchde Germanit Italianpt Portugueseru Russianes Spanish

Meet the People Powering Pathfinder: Tricia Petruney

Tricia Petruney, Acting Director for Systems Strengthening & Capacity Building

1. What should we know about you?

Growing up in a very rural and economically disadvantaged part of the US, I’ve always been interested in how individuals and communities can take action to improve our own lives. This interest eventually carried over into how this happens globally, not just locally. And over time, I’ve observed that the most impressive change often happens when people color outside the lines, and find common ground with each other in surprising ways.

So now I like to consider myself a professional dot-connector, trying to bring people from different backgrounds, specializations, and sectors of global development together to collectively solve tricky problems. Doing so certainly takes large doses of both patience and humor, but I believe it’s worth it!

2. What attracted you to Pathfinder and its mission?

Sometime in my early 20s, it struck me that perhaps more than anything else in my life, it was my easy ability to use contraception (solely through the luck of being an American with access to Planned Parenthood services) that allowed me to pursue higher education, the career I wanted, the relationships I wanted, and the life I wanted. Without it, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do those things.

As soon as I put my finger on that fact I wanted every girl and woman in the world to have the same opportunity, and not just for family planning but comprehensive sexual and reproductive health, too. And where better to strive toward this than Pathfinder, who have been doing so successfully for over 60 years?

3. How will you advance sexual and reproductive heath and rights through your role at Pathfinder?

At a time when global sexual and reproductive health and rights continues to experience acute threats within key political and funding arenas, I want to ensure that I am doing everything within my power to keep the momentum we’ve created in the past decade on track for women, girls, and their families around the world.

An optimist in both head and heart, I believe that the pressure being placed on the sexual and reproductive health and rights field now actually presents an extraordinary opportunity for us to shake ourselves out of old routines, to reach across the aisle to new partners, and think far more boldly about the strategies we collectively use to advance better sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes.

So I hope to use my new role at Pathfinder to embrace this moment of opportunity, and help create some big tipping points where we start to see more decision-makers outside of the health system (in education, livelihoods, nutrition, economics, etc.) loudly demanding better sexual and reproductive health and rights because they know it will help them meet their own goals. In this way, we can rally whole systems to support the rights and well-being of girls and women everywhere.