Professor of the Practice of Public Health
Coordinator of the Dean's Special Initiative on Women and Health
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.
Past Leadership Positions
Before joining the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Langer was president and CEO of EngenderHealth (2005-2010), an international not-for-profit organization that has worked for more than 65 years in more than 90 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and men. From 1994-2005, Dr. Langer was the Population Council’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean based in Mexico; for the last two of those years she was simultaneously the acting director of the Council’s Global Reproductive Health Program. Previously, she was the chair of the Department of Research in Women and Children’s Health for the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico (1988-1994), where she lead clinical trials and research projects and established the master’s program in reproductive health. This program was the first of its kind in Latin America, and it has trained more than 80 specialists from countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Langer has a long track record of collaborating with leading reproductive health organizations, such as the Reproductive Health Research program of the World Health Organization, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She was the co-chair of IPPF’s International Medical Advisory Panel (2004-2010) and also served on the WHO’s Advisory Commission on Health Research (2004-2010), the Scientific Oversight Group of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the International Advisory Panel of the Fundacion CARSO in Mexico. She also serves on several editorial boards, including The Lancet International Advisory Board.
Originally from Argentina, Dr. Langer is fluent in Spanish, French and English.