The Commission comprises 16 individuals, including two cochairs, from diverse backgrounds of expertise and geographic location. Their key roles will be: contributing to, reviewing and advising on the final report and policy recommendations.
Ann Starrs (Cochair)
Ann Starrs is President and CEO of the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which she joined in 2014. She is a widely recognized expert in reproductive and maternal health and has authored or coauthored numerous papers and commentaries on global health policy issues during her nearly 30 years in the field. She is also an influential advocate for the health and rights of women and adolescent girls worldwide. Ms. Starrs holds a master’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in demography from Princeton’s Office of Population Research.
Alex Ezeh (Cochair)
Dr. Alex Ezeh is the Executive Director of the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC) and honorary professor of public health at Wits University, South Africa. Dr. Ezeh has guided APHRC to become one of Africa’s foremost regional research centers addressing population, health and education issues. He also directs the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), an initiative to strengthen the training and retention of academics at African universities. He was a member of the RF-Lancet Commission on planetary Health and currently serves on the Lancet Commission on the Future of Health in Africa. Dr. Ezeh holds an MA and PhD in demography from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in sociology from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Dr. Gary Barker is the International Director and founder of Promundo, an NGO working in the United States, Brazil, Portugal, Rwanda and Burundi to promote gender justice. He works extensively to engage men and boys in achieving gender equality and ending violence against women, including by coordinating a multi-country survey on men’s attitudes and behaviors related to violence, fatherhood and gender equality. Dr. Barker earned a PhD in child and adolescent development from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.
Alaka Basu is a social demographer and professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC, where she is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committees on Population Projections and on Reproductive Health. Ms. Basu has written extensively on population studies, reproductive health and family planning, gender and development, child health and mortality, and culture and demographic behavior. She has served on the governing boards of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Population Association of America and Population Council in New York, and currently serves on the Population Reference Bureau’s Board of Trustees. Ms. Basu earned a master’s of science degree in biochemistry from the University of London and a master’s of science degree in medical demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Jane T. Bertrand is a professor of the Department of Global Health Management and Policy at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where she holds the Neal A. and Mary Vanselow Chair in Health Management and Policy. Her professional interests include program evaluation and behavior change communication in the areas of international family planning and HIV prevention. Dr. Bertrand has been on the Tulane faculty since 1979, except for the period 2002–2009, when she directed the Center for Communication Programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her published research focuses largely on Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, she has worked on the implementation and evaluation of family planning programs to increase contraceptive use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At Tulane, she teaches graduate courses in program monitoring and in international family planning. Dr. Bertrand holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Tulane University.
Dr. Robert Blum is the William H. Gates Senior Professor and Chair of the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has been Director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute since 2007. As a consultant to the World Bank, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, he has served on the Technical Advisory Group of the Child and Adolescent Health Department and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the Human Reproductive Program. Dr. Blum received an MD degree from Howard University, as well as a PhD and MPH from the University of Minnesota.
Anand Grover is a practicing lawyer and senior advocate in India. He is known for his efforts to use law to advance the rights of vulnerable and marginalized communities, including women, people living with HIV/AIDS, sex workers, drug users and LGBTI persons. He is Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit of the Lawyers Collective in India and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. He served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health from 2008 to 2014. He is currently the member of the Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance on Health, the Global Commission on Drug Policy and the Equitable Access Initiative. Mr. Grover read biochemistry from the University of Surrey, England, and his law degree is from Bombay University, India.
Dr. Laura Laski, an ob/gyn from Buenos Aires, Argentina, is Chief of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Branch, Technical Division at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in New York. For the last 30 years, she has worked to advance sexual and reproductive health of women and adolescents around the world, and has been in leadership positions at UNFPA for 20 years. Dr. Laski graduated with a degree in medicine from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, and received a master’s of public health from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mónica Roa is an Independent Consultant and previously served as Vice President of Strategy and External Relations at Women’s Link Worldwide, based in Madrid, Spain. She is most well-known for having filed a constitutional lawsuit that led to the liberalization of Colombia’s complete ban on abortion in 2006. At Women’s Link, which has offices in Bogota and Madrid, she led efforts to promote and defend abortion and other reproductive rights as human rights around the globe. Ms. Roa earned a law degree from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and a master of laws as a Global Public Service Scholar at New York University.
Dr. Zeba Sathar is a Senior Associate and Director of the Population Council’s office in Islamabad, Pakistan, managing programs that bridge all three of the Council’s strategic priorities: poverty, gender and youth; reproductive health; and HIV and AIDS. She frequently publishes articles on gender and equality, safe abortion and postabortion care, maternal and child health, and family planning. She has been the Co-Lead for the Performance, Monitoring & Evidence Working Group of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), United Nations Foundation since 2013. Dr. Sathar has a PhD in medical demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a master’s degree in demography from the London School of Economics.
Dr. Lale Say has a master of science in reproductive health research from Edinburgh University and a medical degree from the University of Istanbul. She works at the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization, coordinating work on adolescents and at-risk populations. Dr. Say has worked at the World Health Organization since 2002, leading monitoring and evaluation activities and, subsequently, as the coordinator of research capacity and program strengthening. Before joining WHO, Dr. Say worked at the Ministry of Health in Turkey managing and implementing programs, and at the Istanbul Medical School, where she had clinical, research and teaching responsibilities. Dr. Say has published, substantially on various sexual and reproductive health topics.
Awa Marie Coll Seck
Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck serves as Minister of Health of the Republic of Senegal and is a member of the WHO Advisory Group on the Ebola Virus Disease Response. In her former role at the United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS, Dr. Coll Seck worked with medical professionals, researchers and policy experts to develop guidance for national and community responses to the AIDS epidemic. In addition to authoring more than 150 scientific publications, she is an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences and Technologies of Senegal. Dr. Coll Seck earned a medical degree from the University of Dakar.
Dr. Gamal Serour is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and Director for the International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research (IICPSR) at Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, and is a referee for international journals in human reproduction, ethics and population policies and Former FIGO President. Dr. Serour and his colleagues opened a reproductive health training center at Al Azhar in 1976 to educate obstetricians, gynecologists, nurses and midwives, religious leaders and policymakers from Africa and Asia on the latest techniques and equipment of fertility and fertility regulation, reproductive sexual health, gender issues, population policy, and children’s and women’s rights. He received his MD degree from Cairo University and was awarded the UN Population Award in 2013.
Dr. Susheela Singh is Vice President for International Research at the Guttmacher Institute, where she has worked since 1985. She has written and coauthored numerous journal articles, monographs and other publications on a wide variety of sexual and reproductive health issues affecting the United States and other developed and developing countries—including the costs and benefits of providing sexual and reproductive health services, documentation of abortion and unplanned pregnancy and their consequences, and adolescent sexual and reproductive behavior. Dr. Singh earned her PhD in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Karin Stenberg, a health economist with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, works in the area of economic evaluation and costing. She is a member of the UN Inter-Agency Working Group developing the OneHealth Tool for supporting country strategic health planning, and has supported multiple global investment case analyses, including the global investment framework for women's and children's health. Ms. Stenberg graduated from Lund University with master’s degree in economics.
Dr. Marleen Temmerman, a Belgian national, is the Director of the Women’s Health & Research Network in East Africa, which is based at Aga Khan University in Nairobi as of December 2015. Previously, she served as Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research and Director of the Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction at the World Health Organization. She has also served as a senator in the Belgian Parliament, was a founding member of the International Center for Reproductive Health, and was a member of the independent Expert Review Group, the principal review group on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Strategy on Information and Accountability for Women and Children. Dr. Temmerman holds a medical degree from Ghent University and a PhD in obstetrics and gynecology.