Julie Pulerwitz is the director of social and operations research for the Population Council’s HIV and AIDS program. She provides strategic guidance and technical leadership to the Council’s multi-million-dollar portfolio of research, whose results are used to improve HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs and policies around the world.
Pulerwitz oversees the Council’s DREAMS initiative research portfolio, which aims to reduce HIV risk for girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, reach their male partners with HIV services, and test the feasibility of PrEP roll-out in several countries. She also serves as director of Project SOAR, a global HIV implementation science program that is conducting 45 studies in over 15 countries to help improve HIV prevention, care, and treatment policies and programs around the world.
For more than 20 years, Pulerwitz has been evaluating programs and identifying the most effective, affordable, and innovative models for delivering essential HIV programs and services. Her expertise in gender and male engagement, behavior change communication, and HIV-related stigma has led to many successful programs that have reduced HIV infection among highly vulnerable populations and linked them with a range of sexual and reproductive health services.
Pulerwitz is known for her conceptual and methodological work developing scales to measure power in sexual relationships (called the SRPS) and gender norms (called the GEM Scale). These scales, which allow attitudes and behaviors to be compared across different contexts and populations, are the most widely used tools in the world addressing these issues. They have helped shape HIV and gender-based violence prevention programs across the globe.
Prior to joining the Council, Pulerwitz served as director of the HIV and TB Global Program at PATH where she grew the program with a staff of two to more than 100. She expanded the operations research there, deriving important lessons from innovative strategies to reach key populations, as well as how to scale up proven strategies.
Pulerwitz sits on several advisory boards, including two projects funded by PEPFAR - the CHARISMA project, which is focused on HIV and gender-based violence and the DREAMS male partner characterization in South Africa. Pulerwitz has worked in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in addition to the United States. She is widely published in peer-reviewed journals. Pulerwitz received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health, and her undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.