Bio

Adrienne Germain, President Emerita, International Women's Health Coalition, worked for women's health and human rights for 50 years. Following 14 years with the Ford Foundation, including four in Bangladesh as the country representative, she led IWHC’s work on international health and population policy with the UN system, governments and NGOs especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition to her sustained support for the building of women’s health and rights organizations in low-income countries, she is a widely recognized architect of the international movement for women’s health and human rights, and of the concept of Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health (SRRH).

Ms. Germain was a pivotal member of US government delegations to The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and the Fourth World Women’s Conference, shaping both US policy and the final intergovernmental agreements that guide UN, government and donor policies on SRRH today. In these conferences and representing the US government in many other intergovernmental negotiations since, Ms. Germain developed wide working relationships with other donor governments, with national and international organizations of women and young people, and with the wider health, HIV/AIDs and Human Rights communities, for work at national and global level. She has published widely, including edited volumes, articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Lancet, Studies in Family Planning and the WHO Bulletin, among others. Her work has been covered in both print and other media and she served as a source for several.

In June 2012, Ms. Germain received the United Nations Population Award in recognition of her lifetime work. In November 2012, she was a Menschel Senior Fellow in Health Policy at the Harvard University School of Public Health. Among many professional roles, she served as  a member of the editorial board of Reproductive Health Matters; the Council on Foreign Relations; and the Advisory Committee of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.  She served on the MDG Project Task Force on Child Mortality and Maternal Health, the Gender Knowledge Network of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health, UNDP’s Expert Group on Gender and AIDS Responses, the UNAIDS Global Task Force on Women and HIV/AIDS, and the external Evaluation Advisory Group for the International Health Partnership Plus (IHP+).

Ms. Germain advised the US State Department, European governments, UNFPA, and UNAIDS, as well as other United Nations, corporate, foundation and NGO leaders. She speaks extensively to professional, academic and public audiences. Ms. Germain holds a B.A. from Wellesley College (1969), an M.A. in sociology and demography from the University of California at Berkeley (1972), and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College. Her professional papers and oral history are archived in the Sophia Smith Collections at Smith College, Northampton, MA.

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