The Women and Health Initiative is led by Dr. Ana Langer, a physician – specializing in pediatrics and neonatology – and reproductive health expert. She joined the Harvard T. H Chan School of Public Health in July 2010 as professor of the practice of public health in the department of Global Health and Population. Dr. Langer is respected worldwide as a leader in the application of research findings to influence policy and clinical norms for the improvement of maternal health care and the overall quality of women’s health. For the past 30 years, she has been a leading researcher, programmer, and champion for the improvement of women’s health.
Dr. Langer has conducted research throughout her career and published extensively on maternal mortality; psychosocial support during pregnancy, labor, delivery and the post-partum period; quality of maternal health care, unsafe abortion, emergency contraception; the introduction of evidence-based practices in maternal health services; and strategies to reinforce reproductive health through health sector reform programs in developing countries.
Before joining Harvard Chan, Dr. Langer was president and CEO of EngenderHealth from 2005 to 2010. During her tenure, EngenderHealth experienced significant growth and expanded its programmatic portfolio to include maternal health and unsafe abortion, in addition to family planning, gender and HIV/AIDS. Before joining EngenderHealth, Dr. Langer served as the Population Council’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean from 1994 to 2005 as well as acting director of the Population Council’s global reproductive health program from 2003 to 2004. Previously, she was the chair of the department of research in women and children’s health at the National Institute of Public Health, Mexico where – in addition to leading several clinical trials and other research projects – she established and directed a Master’s Program in Reproductive Health supported by the WHO.
Dr. Langer sits on a number of editorial boards including The Lancet’s International Advisory Board, the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and the WHO Reproductive Health Library. At Harvard Chan, Dr. Langer teaches two courses: Field Experience in Maternal Health (GHP547, Winter Session) and Global Sexual and Reproductive Health (GHP231, Spring II).