Ms. Elizabeth S. Maguire, MA

Former President and Chief Executive Officer (1999-2015)

MA, Sociology and Demography, Georgetown University

Elizabeth Maguire©Dan Crawford
Liz Maguire life’s work became clear at a young age: “In 1972, I traveled to Africa for the first time and witnessed a young woman hemorrhaging to death unattended on the grounds of the main hospital in Dakar. The cause was sepsis from a botched abortion. Her tragic and lonely death has inspired me to help save and enhance the lives of other women.”

During her 16 years at Ipas, Liz worked on the most challenging, stigmatized and neglected area of women’s reproductive health—safe abortion care—and expanded our budget from $9.5 million to $65 million. Under Liz’s leadership, Ipas greatly expanded its geographic reach and impact, with offices in 15 countries and projects in more than 35 countries, ensuring that millions of women receive safe abortion care as a result.

Before Ipas, Liz served as the first female director of USAID’s Office of Population (1993-1999), capping a 22-year career there. Under her leadership, the program enjoyed broad support and innovation, even in the face of unprecedented Congressional interference. She also served on the U.S. delegation to the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), as well as the 1999 five-year review of ICPD.

In 2013 the American Public Health Association (APHA) presented the Carl S. Shultz Lifetime Achievement Award to Liz for her more than 40 years of experience and commitment to women’s reproductive health. In addition, she has received eight USAID Special Honor Awards, including the Distinguished Career Service Award and the Population Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Liz’s deep commitment to women has been the cornerstone of her career and her life. She holds the bar high for young people to follow in dedicated service. Upon receiving the Carl S. Shultz Lifetime Achievement Award she offered a challenge: “It is our responsibility to mentor and support the next generation of leaders so that they can complete the unfinished agenda. Together, we will create a future where no woman has to suffer or die because she lacks safe reproductive choices.” In response to this challenge, Ipas has created the Maguire Fellowship in her honor.