Sophia Chae is an associate with the Population Council’s Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center under the Mark A. Walker Fellowship Program. Chae conducts analyses across the Council’s global repository of data on more than 120,000 adolescents to understand how girls’ lives evolve through their adolescent years and assess which interventions are most effective and cost efficient at delivering the best outcomes for which populations under what conditions and in which settings.
Chae’s research interests lie in family structures and child and adolescent wellbeing. She has investigated how parental death, divorce, and migration relate to various outcomes, including early sexual debut, early marriage, schooling, and leaving home.
Prior to joining the Council, Chae worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, where she conducted abortion research in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to that, she worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Population Dynamics at Arizona State University. There, Chae collaborated with faculty on a successful NIH P01 grant proposal focused on family migration and early life outcomes in Mexico, Mozambique, and Nepal. Chae also spent three years working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso teaching sexual education classes and organizing a regional girls’ empowerment camp.
Chae earned her BA in Economics and International Studies from Northwestern University, a MS in Population and International Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and a MA and PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania.