The Women and Health Initiative is led by Dr. Ana Langer, a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology, and a reproductive health expert. She joined the Harvard School of Public Health in July 2010 as a Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population. Dr. Langer is respected worldwide as a leader in using research findings to influence policy and improve the overall quality of health care for women and families. For the past 25 years, she has been a leading researcher, programmer and advocate for the improvement of women’s health.
Dr. Langer has conducted 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 the reproductive health component in health sector reform programs in developing countries.
Before joining the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Langer was the President and CEO of EngenderHealth from 2005-2010. During her tenure, EngenderHealth experienced significant growth and expanded its programmatic portfolio that now includes 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 (LAC) from 1994-2005 as well as Acting Director of the Population Council’s Global Reproductive Health Program from January 2003 to September 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 the Master’s Program in Reproductive Health supported by the WHO.
For more than 25 years, Dr. Langer has been a leading advocate for the improvement of women’s health through the introduction of evidence-based practices. She has conducted extensive research on maternal mortality, the psychosocial factors that affect pregnancy, delivery and postpartum outcomes, the quality of maternal health care, emergency contraception and unsafe abortion. She sits on a number of editorial boards such as The Lancet International Advisory Board, the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and the WHO Reproductive Health Library. 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 and family health.