Phillip Carter III, former U.S. Ambassador

Phillip Carter III is an American diplomat and career Foreign Service officer, who served as Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea from 2007 to 2008 and Ambassador to Ivory Coast from 2010 to 2013. More recently, he served as Deputy to the Commander for Civil Military Engagements, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany from 2013 to 2015.

At the State Department, Amb. Carter served as a Senior Advisor to the Africa Bureau and previously as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2008 to 2010. He also served as the Africa Bureau’s Acting Assistant Secretary during the transition between the Bush and Obama Administrations. Carter has also served as the Director for West African Affairs and the Deputy Director in the Office for East African Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Prior to that assignment, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar and DCM in Libreville Gabon. Before his arrival in Gabon in 1997, he was an international financial economist in the State Department’s Office of Monetary Affairs in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. During this period, he dealt with international debt and capital matters and served as the Department’s point-person on International Monetary Fund issues with Africa. From 1992-1994, he served as the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh.[2]

Ambassador Carter received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and History from Drew University in 1980, and a Master of Arts Degree in International and Development Economics from Yale University in 1995.

Dr. Céline Delacroix

Dr. Céline Delacroix is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Health Sciences. She is the Director of the FP/Earth project with the Population Institute. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on analyzing how family planning, population size, and environmental sustainability intersect and are perceived. She is looking for ways to harness these linkages to benefit reproductive rights and improve environmental sustainability. She earned a PhD from the University of Ottawa, a Master’s in Science from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) and an LLB in Law from Cardiff University (Wales, UK). Dr. Delacroix also served as Executive Director of several human rights and environmental civil-society organizations, including the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Ethiopiaid Canada.

Robert Engelman

Robert Engelman is an American author and former journalist who writes about the environment and population. He served as vice president of WorldWatch from 2007 to 2011 and as its president from 2011 until 2014. His book More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want was published in 2008.

Engelman began his career as a newspaper reporter, working for the Associated Press out of Mexico City in 1977. He subsequently worked for the Kansas City Times in Kansas City and Washington, D.C., and then for the (Denver) Rocky Mountain News as its Washington correspondent. He later joined the national reporting staff of Scripps Howard News Service, eventually serving as its science, health and environment correspondent.

In 1992 Engelman left journalism and founded a research program on population and the environment at Population Action International (PAI). He later became vice president for research at PAI. In 1997, he was among the founders of the Center for a New American Dream and served until 2007 as chair of its board of directors. While at PAI Engelman and colleagues published reports on the linkages of population dynamics and environmental change, one of them published in the journal Nature. In 2000 again in 2002 and 2003, Engelman served on the faculty of Yale University as a visiting lecturer on population and the environment.

Engelman received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and his Masters of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which in 1976 awarded him a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.

Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH

Joe Speidel recently stepped down from the University of California’s Bixby Center, where he has served as a professor since 2003. Between 1995 and 2003, he directed the population grants program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—a program that provided $35 million annually for more than 200 active grants for population training, services, research, and advocacy. Between 1983 and 1995, Dr. Speidel served as vice president and president of Population Action International. Previously, Dr. Speidel served as chief of the Research Division and acting director of the Office of Population at the US Agency for International Development, where he directed a $125 million annual program of population and family planning assistance.

Dr. Speidel recently served as founding co-chair and member of the board of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health & Rights. He recently served as treasurer of the board of Provide and secretary of the board of Venture Strategies Innovations. He is the author of more than100 articles and chapters and editor or author of 14 books and monographs on issues relating to family planning, contraception and population.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and physics from Harvard University.  He also received his Doctor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and his Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, Masters in Public Health

Gayatri Patel

Gayatri Patel, Senior Fellow with the rePROs Fight Back Initiative, is a senior gender policy expert with over 20 years of experience leading policy advocacy related to gender equality and human rights in development and humanitarian contexts globally.

Gayatri most recently served as the Vice President of Advocacy and External Relations at the Women’s Refugee Commission where she led the organization’s policy advocacy on gender and humanitarian action globally. She previously served as the Director of Gender Advocacy at CARE USA, driving initiatives on women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence, and gender equality in humanitarian emergencies.

Prior to joining CARE, Gayatri spent 10 years advising the U.S. State Department on a variety of human rights and humanitarian issues, including spearheading a multi-stakeholder strategy in the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to improve protection for migrants caught in countries in crisis. She also co-authored the annual U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report and managed the UN Human Rights Council and UN Universal Periodic Review portfolios to promote respect for human rights globally. Additionally, she served as the Director of Legal Programming at the Africa Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) organization, which provides pro bono legal services to refugees and people seeking asylum in Cairo, Egypt.

Gayatri has played a leadership role in a number of coalitions and organizations focused on gender equity, human rights, and humanitarianism. She is currently the Vice Chair of Advocacy on the Board of the UN Association of the National Capital Area and serves as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Council for Global Equality and the Steering Committee of the Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy for the United States. She previously also co-chaired the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally, the Coalition for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Equality, Girls Not Brides USA coalition, and the Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition.

In 2021, Gayatri was recognized amongst the Apolitical List of the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy and was selected to join the U.S. Delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women as a civil society representative. She also received the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award in 2021 from the UN Association for work to advance gender equality and women’s human rights globally.

Gayatri holds a law degree and master’s degree from American University’s Washington College of Law and School for International Service and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College.