Nanlesta Pilgrim is an associate in the Population Council’s HIV and AIDS program in Washington, DC. She manages operations research, provides technical assistance, and evaluates programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research focuses on populations who are highly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS—especially adolescent girls, young adults, and key populations—and improving access to and the quality of HIV and AIDS services, especially for adolescents and men.
Before joining the Council in 2014, Pilgrim was an assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she conducted research on socio-ecological influences (e.g., familial and health systems) on sexual and reproductive health outcomes, with an emphasis on HIV and AIDS and family planning, among adolescent and youth adults. She also served as the project coordinator for Project Connect Baltimore, which aims to increase the proportion of sexually active young men who receive high-quality sexual and reproductive health care in Baltimore City. She also taught and served as guest lecturer in a number of methodological courses, including courses on survey research design and analysis of complex surveys.
Pilgrim received her BA in African American studies and MPH in social and behavioral sciences from Yale University and her PhD in population, family, and reproductive health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has published in and reviews for a number of peer-reviewed journals.