Megan Kavanaugh (she/her) joined the Guttmacher Institute in 2008 as a Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellow in Abortion and Reproductive Health. She became a Senior Research Scientist in 2010 and a Principal Research Scientist in 2017. Dr. Kavanaugh leads the US domestic research portfolio on contraceptive access, and she currently oversees the Reproductive Health Impact Study, a large multistate, multiyear research effort to understand the impact of policy changes on the publicly funded family planning network and on the patients served within this network. She has training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, which she has applied to her most recent studies tracking national- and state-level trends in contraceptive use, integrating a person-centered lens into understanding people’s experiences and preferences related to contraception, documenting barriers to sexual and reproductive health care and their consequences, and describing abortion patients’ perspectives on adoption. She has authored or coauthored more than 50 peer-reviewed and other scientific publications.
In 2006, Dr. Kavanaugh was awarded the Gary Stewart Scholarship for Research in Public Health from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, and in 2015 she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Early Career Excellence by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She earned DrPH and MPH degrees, with specializations in behavioral and community health, and a master’s certificate in women’s studies, all from the University of Pittsburgh; she also holds a BS in bioengineering from Cornell University. Dr. Kavanaugh serves on the board of directors of the Society of Family Planning and is a member of the American Public Health Association and the Population Association of America. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine and affiliated with the Center for Innovative Research on Gender Health Equity (CONVERGE) at the University of Pittsburgh.