Family Planning Association appoints new executive director

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Family Planning Association executive director Ava Rampersad (left) and her predecessor Dona Da Costa Martinez. –

The Family Planning Association (FPA) has announced the appointment of Ava Rampersad as its new executive director. The appointment became effective from August 1.

In a release, the association said Rampersad is a public health practitioner who has been at the FPA since 1985.

It said she has almost 20 years’ experience in public health and community enhancement programming.

Rampersad succeeds Dona Da Costa Martinez who, the FPA said, had a long and illustrious career championing sexual and reproductive health in TT for more than 35 years. She was appointed executive director in 1999.

“Under Da Costa Martinez’ stewardship, the FPA, which has been in existence since 1956, expanded its work to focus on integrating sexual rights in all of its programmes.

“This included the expansion of its advocacy work in abortion and LGBTQI rights, comprehensive sexuality education, gender-based violence, HIV prevention and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services to most at-risk populations including sex workers and adolescents.”

In 2021 she was promoted to serve as the International Planned Parenthood Federation deputy regional director of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining the FPA, Rampersad served as a research and technical manager of the non-profit organisation, Population Services International, and a health officer at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).

The association said Rampersad is well positioned to steer the organisation in its efforts to deliver quality and affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare to all.

Rampersad is quoted as saying, “FPA’s value as a leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare is undeniable and its foundation is strong. Moving forward, the organisation’s focus is to establish sustainable activities and to provide beneficiary-centred, integrated, and comprehensive solutions in response to our country’s sexual and reproductive health and rights gaps.”

Also joining the organisation as deputy executive director on September 1 was Sharon Mottley.