James Sailer is executive director of the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research (CBR), which conducts research and develops new methods of contraception, HIV prevention, and STI prevention. Sailer leads and provides strategic direction to the Council’s product development program, and supervises a staff of scientists, fellows, and operations professionals at CBR’s laboratories on the campus of Rockefeller University.
Sailer led the team that received US FDA first-pass approval for Annovera™, a one year contraceptive vaginal system that is the first and only contraceptive that provides an entire year of protection against unintended pregnancy while fully under a woman’s control. Annovera was launched in the U.S. market in 2019.
Sailer also leads the Council’s Intellectual Asset Management group, which collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to arrange for manufacturing and distribution of Council-developed contraceptives and other products to the global market. In keeping with the Council’s mission, these partnerships include provisions to ensure that products are offered to people in less-developed countries at public-sector prices. Over 170 million women around the world use a contraceptive product developed by the Population Council.
Previously, Sailer served as the Council’s vice president for Corporate Affairs, overseeing corporate operations, including branding and communications, information services, publishing, human resources, and administration.
Sailer served as the chairman of the board of InsideNGO, a membership organization of over 340 international NGOs, and negotiated the 2017 three-way merger between InsideNGO, MANGO, and LINGOs to create Humentum. He is a member of the board and executive committee of the International Contraceptive Access (ICA) Foundation, and a member of the Board of Directors of Vennue, an international non-profit organization.
Before joining the Council in 2004, Sailer was director of performance management for the New York City Department of Education, where he developed an accountability system and sophisticated new methods of analyzing school performance. Earlier in his career, he was chief operating officer at Privista, an Internet-based company protecting consumers against identity theft, a senior manager at Accenture, and managing director at West End New Media, a boutique consulting firm. He also is the author of over 20 case studies and teaching notes from his time as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School.
Sailer holds a BA in political science from Swarthmore College and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2019, he was elected to the Alumni Council of Swarthmore College.