Following 16 years of leadership, Frances Althaus is retiring from her position as Executive Editor of the Guttmacher Institute journal International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (IPSRH), effective May 31. Ms. Althaus joined the Institute in 1989 as an Associate Editor in the Publications Division, and soon rose to Senior Editor. She has been at the helm of IPSRH since 2002. During that time, she has played a key role in making IPSRH a major source of international research on sexual and reproductive health and rights that has direct implications for policies and programs around the world.
IPSRH is known as a platform for rigorous, peer-reviewed research on abortion, contraception and other reproductive health topics, ranging from country-specific studies to reviews of worldwide trends. The journal sets itself apart with its commitment to publishing the work of researchers from developing regions so that findings grounded in local context can be used to shape policy. Its dedicated staff of editors works closely with authors to ensure that research is clearly presented and fully contextualized for a broad range of audiences, including policymakers, program administrators and advocates in developing countries.
“I am confident that IPSRH will continue to publish high-quality research, which is particularly important in an era when sexual and reproductive health and rights are being undermined by U.S. policies like the global gag rule and the defunding of the United Nations Population Fund,” remarks Ms. Althaus. “The journal is an essential platform for the scientific evidence that is critical to shaping policies, programs and service delivery throughout the developing world.”
Under Ms. Althaus’s direction, IPSRH has been at the forefront of publishing innovative analyses that have shed light on the factors driving sexual and reproductive health patterns in different countries. She developed and led special issues on contraceptive use, abortion, advances in postabortion care, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and reproductive health, and integrating HIV/STI and family planning services. Ms. Althaus also oversaw the publication of the first-ever estimates of the incidence of abortion in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, Nepal, Senegal and Uganda, and wrote a landmark special report on female genital mutilation in 1997 that is still frequently cited by researchers in the field.
The readership of IPSRH has expanded greatly during Ms. Althaus’s tenure, in part due to her efforts to publish issues of the journal in French and Spanish, as well as her regular workshops and presentations at conferences in the United States and abroad.
The Institute looks forward to building on Ms. Althaus’s accomplishments and continuing the publication of meaningful research that can have a tangible impact on policies, programs and services around the world.