Kathryn Kost has worked for the Guttmacher Institute in a full-time or consulting capacity for nearly 30 years since joining the Institute as a Senior Research Associate in 1989; she was promoted to Director of Domestic Research in 2016. Dr. Kost’s research at Guttmacher has addressed a range of topics crucial for understanding reproductive behaviors and trends in the United States, including patterns of sexual behavior, characteristics of abortion patients, health consequences of unintended pregnancy and estimates of contraceptive failure. Dr. Kost leads the Institute’s domestic surveillance work on unintended pregnancy at the state level and on teen pregnancy at the national and state levels. She has published in top peer-reviewed journals in the field, including Demography, Studies in Family Planning and Guttmacher’s own Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
In addition to her central research work, Dr. Kost has played a critical role in the Institute’s strategic planning process, takes an active part in management-related activities in the Research division and across the Institute, and is an active mentor, dedicated to the well-being and professional development of junior staff and the improvement of research processes. Dr. Kost received her BA in sociology from Reed College and a PhD in sociology from Princeton University, where she specialized in demography at the Office of Population Research.