Steven W. Sinding is Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, headquartered in London. He directs a global federation of 151 member associations and six regional offices operating programs in more than 180 countries around the world. He has been in the IPPF post since September 2002 and recently announced his decision to retire in August 2006.
Immediately prior to joining IPPF, Dr. Sinding was Professor of Population and Family Health and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Columbia University, positions he assumed in September 1999. While at Columbia, he directed a three-year study on the future of international development cooperation and assistance, with a special emphasis on reproductive health and population programs. In August 2002 that study was published as Re-engaging with the Developing World: The Aid Imperative.
From 1991 to 1999, Dr. Sinding served as Director of the Population Sciences program at the Rockefeller Foundation. The Foundation provided approximately $18 million annually in grants for social science and biomedical research and international policy work to mobilize additional resources for population and reproductive health programs in developing countries. Under Dr. Sinding’s leadership the Foundation convened meetings that led to the creation of the south-to-south network, Partners in Population and Development; sponsored a major scientific review of the global fertility transition; and convened a symposium that produced a new scientific consensus on the relationship between population growth, economic development, and poverty. He served in 1994 as a member of the United States delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo.
Prior to joining Rockefeller, Dr. Sinding served as Senior Population Adviser to the World Bank, following a 20-year career at the U.S. Agency for International Development. At USAID he was the Director of the Mission to Kenya (1986-90) and Agency Director for Population (1983-86). Previously he directed the agency’s population, health and nutrition programs in Asia, worked as a population program officer in Pakistan (1975-78) and as head of population, health and nutrition programs in the Philippines (1980-83), and he has visited more than 90 countries of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Dr. Sinding has written extensively on international population issues and is called upon frequently to speak to both academic and general audiences on international population issues. Since joining IPPF he has become a major public spokesman on population and sexual and reproductive health issues. He is the author of the article on “family planning programs” in the Encyclopedia of Population and co-editor of Population Matters: Demographic Change, Economic Growth, and Poverty in the Developing World (Oxford: 2001).
Dr. Sinding has a longstanding interest in U.S. international development policy and was co-sponsor and co-author of the Overseas Development Council’s white papers, Re-Inventing Foreign Aid in 1992, and What Future for Aid? in 1996.
Dr. Sinding received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in 1965 and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970.