Council Commentary

Population Council’s Board of Trustees Commitment to Board Diversity

During its 158th meeting held on 27–28 June, the Population Council’s Board of Trustees strengthened and demonstrated accountability to its commitment to Board diversity by approving revisions to its diversity statement which was adopted in June 2021. Notably, the revised statement includes goals on Board composition in relation to gender and representation from low- and middle-income countries and early/mid-career individuals. 

“Ensuring that our Board is more representative of the people and places we serve is part of the Population Council’s broader Agenda for Change, which sets out actions we are taking to become an antiracist organization and address wider issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It also responds to a call to advance a globally representative and equitable global health governance, as articulated in the 2022 Global Health 50/50 report, Boards for All?” said Julia Bunting, Population Council President.

“The Board of Trustees recognizes the role we play in decolonizing global health and development and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Population Council and in the wider world,” said Darcy Bradbury, Board Chair. “A diverse and representative Board enhances our ability to provide strategic advice and monitor the research activities, financial health, legal compliance, and ethical conduct as fiduciaries for the Council.”

The Population Council’s international Board comprises 17 trustees, who bring a diversity of expertise in areas including sexual and reproductive health, biomedical research, education, climate change, communications, international law, finance, investment, and management. A complete list of the Population Council's Board of Trustees is available on our leadership page. 

The revised diversity statement appears below.


Population Council Board of Trustees Diversity Statement

Approved 15 June 2021 | Revision approved 28 June 2022

The Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring that our composition reflects multiple dimensions of diversity: demographic, geographic, and in expertise. The Nominating Committee reviews patterns and trends in the Board’s composition and leads efforts to enhance Board diversity—part of its responsibilities to ensure the Board as a whole has the needed skills, knowledge, and experience to fulfil the Board’s governance mandate and fiduciary responsibilities, and for the Committee to plan appropriately for Trustee transitions. The Nominating Committee strives to attain balance across various dimensions and applies intentional recruitment efforts when it identifies gaps. The Board considers various factors in recruiting and maintaining our Board, including:

  • Demographic—including age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and nationality;
  • Geographic—global representation including from the countries and regions where the Population Council conducts its work and from which it receives funding; and
  • Expertise and qualifications—such as relevant industry experience, academic areas of research, technical knowledge, and required skills not least in relation to fiduciary oversight and stewardship.

To further strengthen diversity and representation among the Council’s Trustees and to ensure this commitment is sustained, the Board will take intentional steps to achieve or maintain the following targets (on a three-year rolling average) by no later than end-2026:

  • At least 50% of trustees must identify as women; and
  • At least 50% of trustees must be nationals of low- and middle-income countries who either reside in that country (or another low- and middle-income country) and/or maintain a meaningful presence in the country of which they are a (dual) national.

Additionally, the Board will endeavor to ensure that at least two trustees will be early/mid-career (younger than age 45) at the time of their initial appointment.

The Board supports the Population Council’s Agenda for Change, through which the organization is addressing critical issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of its work, systems, structures, and processes. The Trustees are overseeing the Council’s progress in advancing this agenda, and the value of a diverse and inclusive Board also supports our overall effectiveness.