Population and Development: New Approaches to Enduring Global Problems

About the Institute

In the year when the world’s population officially passed seven billion, this Institute will address the crucial and interlinked issues of population and development, particularly as they affect people in the global south. Participants will engage with cutting-edge theory, tested and innovative research methods, and examples of first-rate scholarship upon which to build their own research programs.

What are the most significant population issues in the 21st century? How do population dynamics and the policies designed to address them contribute to—or detract from—equitable development?  How can theories and methods in the social sciences contribute to understanding the relationship between population and development, and how can this scholarship contribute to better policies and programs?

Bringing together academics and policy-makers from multiple disciplines whose work addresses such questions, this Institute aims to establish a dynamic network of scholars, creating prospects for collaborative and comparative research and offering opportunities for rich intellectual exchange and joint publications.

Convening Faculty

Daniel Jordan Smith
Associate Professor of Anthropology

Bianca Dahl
Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology and Population Studies 


Visiting Faculty

Wendy Baldwin
President, Population Reference Bureau

Baldwin received her Ph.D. in sociology and demography from the University of Kentucky. She has published dozens of research articles in journals and edited volumes on topics related to adolescent sexual health, adolescent contraceptive use, and women and HIV/AIDS. Prior to becoming president of the Population Reference Bureau, Baldwin served as vice president and director of the Population Council's Poverty, Gender, and Youth program, working with country directors and professional staff to implement research to improve the future of young people. Prior to joining the Population Council, Baldwin worked at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, where she led the development of programs on adolescent childbearing and sexual behavior and AIDS risk behaviors. 

Ann Blanc
Vice President, Population Council

Blanc received a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in demography from Princeton University in 1985. She has published widely on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, gender and power dynamics, and fertility trends and patterns. In 2011, Blanc joined the Population Council as vice president and director of the Poverty, Gender, and Youth program. Prior to joining the Council Blanc was director of the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth, program officer in the Population and Reproductive Health Program at The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and senior evaluation analyst for the MEASURE/Evaluation Project at Macro International, working under subcontract to the University of North Carolina. 

Timothy Dyson
Professor of Population Studies, Head of Department of International Development, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Tim Dyson has worked at LSE since 1980. He was educated in England and Canada and has held visiting positions at the Australian National University in Canberra, the International Institute of Population Sciences in Mumbai, and the American University of Beirut. In 1994-96 he was President of the British Society for Population Studies; in 1997 he addressed the Oxford Farming Conference; and in 2001 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Dyson has a wide array of academic interests, including demographic time series, interactions between populations and their food supplies, global food prospects, past, present and future population of the Indian subcontinent, climate change, causal relations in social science, and demographic change and democratization.

Alex Ezeh
Executive Director, African Population and Health Research Center

Dr. Alex C. Ezeh is the Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). He joined APHRC in 1998 (then a program of the Population Council in Nairobi) as a Senior Research Fellow. In 2000, he was appointed APHRC's Interim Director and charged with the responsibility of leading its transition into an autonomous institution. Having successfully led this transition, he was appointed APHRC's Executive Director in 2001, and has steered the young institution to phenomenal growth to date. Prior to joining APHRC, he worked at ORC/Macro International where he provided technical assistance to governmental and non-governmental institutions in several African countries in the design and conduct of Demographic and Health Surveys. Ezeh directs the Consortium for Advanced Research and Training in Africa (CARTA) and holds honorary professorship at Wits University. He serves on the boards and committees of several international public health organizations.

Andrew Foster
Professor, Department of Economics, Brown University

Andrew Foster received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. He is an empirical microeconomist with interests in the areas of population, environment, development, and health. Recent work has examined economic growth in rural India, exploring such issues as growth in the non-farm economy, the effects of local democratization, groundwater usage, forest cover, household structure, inequality, and schooling. He also is exploring the effects of recent changes in air quality in Delhi. Foster also has a series of projects with colleagues in the Center for Gerentology examining the market for nursing home care.

Rachel Franklin
Assistant Professor of Population Studies, Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University

Rachel Franklin is a population geographer whose research focuses on regional changes in population composition and the causes/impacts of those changes. Methodologies used in her research typically include spatial regression modeling, regional analytical tools, and GIS. Recent work has addressed the relationship between population structure and carbon emissions in the U.S. Another strand of research examines the relationship between local population composition and diversity in American higher education institutions.

Silvia Giorguli
Director, Center for Demographic Studies, College of Mexico

Dr. Giorguli received her Ph.D. in Sociology at Brown University in 2002, focusing her work on transitions from school to work, educational outcomes and household arrangements in Mexico. Giorguli has taught at the Colegio de México, Universidad Autónoma de México, and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Her research interests include adolescents and family structure, international migration and impacts of demographic change in Mexico.

Elizabeth Hartmann
Professor of Development Studies and Director of the Population and Development Program, Hampshire College

Betsy Hartmann, professor of development studies and director of the Population and Development Program, received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. She is a longstanding activist in the international women’s health movement. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections between population, migration, environment and security issues. She is the author of “Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control and The Truth about Fire,” a political thriller about the Far Right. She is the co-author of “A Quiet Violence: View from a Bangladesh Village” and co-editor of the recent anthology “Making Threats: Biofears and Environmental Anxieties.”

Lori Leonard
Associate Professor of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Dr. Leonard is working on a long-term study of an oil pipeline project in Chad that was supposed to double as a poverty reduction project. She has followed 80 households in the oilfield region for more than a decade, and is currently writing about the strategies and tactics they use to remake their lives and livelihoods as their land is expropriated. Dr. Leonard also studies clinical care practices and public health interventions around the AIDS epidemic in the US. She has worked with a group of young women living with HIV in the Bronx, Chicago, New Orleans, and Miami, interviewing them over a three-year period to look at the role of the clinic and therapeutic interventions in their lives. She has also studied changes in clinical routines and practices after clinical practice guidelines came out calling for routine HIV screening in the US. Leonard is interested in the differential distribution of screening and other interventions and their implications for self-identity, stigma, self-care, and young people’s sense of their place in the world.

Stephen McGarvey
Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Community Health, Brown University

Stephen McGarvey is the Director of the International Health Institute and Professor of Epidemiology. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Human Biology. McGarvey earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Pennsylvania State University in 1980, and an M.P.H. in Epidemiology from Yale University. McGarvey is concerned with issues of human population biology and international health, specifically modernization-related induced socio-economic and behavioral changes, genetic and environmental influences on obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factor, tropical parasitology and child nutritional status and health, and environmental issues. His research involves developing-world countries such as Samoa, the Philippines, and Ghana.

Arland Thornton
Professor of Sociology and Research Professor at the Population Studies Center, University of Michigan

Arland Thornton is a social demographer who has served as president of the Population Association of America and currently holds a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. For much of his career, Thornton has focused on the study of family and demographic issues, with a particular emphasis on marriage, cohabitation, divorce, childbearing, intergenerational relations, and gender roles. He has received four awards for his books as well as a distinguished career award from the American Sociological Association. During the past decade Thornton has devoted considerable time and energy studying developmental idealism and its influence in many areas of the world. His 2001 presidential address to the Population Association of America focused on this topic, as does his award-winning book entitled Reading History Sideways: the Fallacy and Enduring Impact of the Developmental Paradigm on Family Life. Of particular importance for Thornton’s current work are the ways in which values, beliefs, and people have been and are being distributed around the world. His work (in collaboration with others) has involved conceptualization, measurement, and analysis of data from several countries, including Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the U.S., and Vietnam.

David Weil
Professor, Department of Economics, Brown University

David Weil received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and has been a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1997. Dr. Weil has written widely on various aspects of economic growth, including the empirical determinants of income differences among countries, the accumulation of physical capital, international technology transfer, and population growth. He has also written on assorted topics in demographic economics including population aging, Social Security, the gender wage gap, retirement, and the relation between demographics and house prices. His c