Suzanne Petroni, a veteran in designing programs and policies as well as mobilizing political and financial support for women’s reproductive health and rights, will join the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) in August.
Petroni will direct ICRW research and programs centered on population issues and women’s reproductive health. She currently serves as vice president of global health at the Public Health Institute in Washington, D.C.
“Throughout my career, I’ve known and respected ICRW, and have often looked to the organization's research to inform the work that I’ve done,” Petroni said. "I'm excited to contribute to ICRW's important efforts to empower women and advance gender equality in the developing world."
She praised ICRW’s focus on women’s health and empowerment as well as its commitment to building evidence for approaches that produce the results women in developing countries need. “A lot of organizations have the passion and the mission,” Petroni said. “But they turn to ICRW for the evidence.”
ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou lauded Petroni’s experience in global development. “Suzanne brings to ICRW tremendous breadth and depth of expertise on issues pertaining to women and youth living in low-income and otherwise marginalized communities around the world,” Kambou said. “Throughout her career, she has championed women’s reproductive health and rights and has pressed for greater attention to the health and livelihood needs of adolescents. We are delighted to have her on board.”
Petroni holds a doctorate in gender and social policy from George Washington University, and has spent two decades working in the government and nonprofit sectors. At the Public Health Institute, she created a new global health department and expanded the organization’s global health efforts through research, programmatic and policy work. Prior to her joining the institute, she was a senior program officer at The Summit Foundation, where she directed the group’s global population and youth leadership program. She also designed grant-making strategies to advance adolescent and reproductive health and garner resources for reproductive health and rights in the developing world.
Petroni also has chaired the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, worked as a program officer at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and served as the special assistant to the under secretary of state for global affairs at the State Department.
Once she joins in August, Petroni said she is looking forward to building on ICRW’s work in the fields of population and reproductive health. She has particular interest in using research to better illustrate the relationship between women’s reproductive health and economic development. Petroni also aims to deepen ICRW’s research around adolescent sexual and reproductive health, providing evidence to convince donors and other partners that “this area is worth investing in,” she said. “You can produce outcomes and results.”
A sample of Suzanne Petroni’s publications:
“7 Billion Reasons” – Ms. Magazine
“International Reproductive Health Still Worth the Investment” – Contraception Journal
“Policy Review: Thoughts on Addressing Population and Climate Change in a Just and Ethical Manner” – Population & Environment (subscription required)
Gillian Gaynair is ICRW’s senior writer and editor.