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Staff

William Ryerson is the Population Institute's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.  Ryerson, who also serves as President of the Population Media Center, has a 45-year history of working in the field of reproductive health, including three decades of experience adapting the Sabido methodology for behavior change communications to various cultural settings worldwide. He has also been involved in the design of research to measure the effects of such projects in a number of countries, one of which has led to a series of publications regarding a serialized radio drama in Tanzania and its effects on HIV/AIDS avoidance and family planning use. He also serves as President of the Population Media Center, which works in partnership with the Population Institute. He received a B.A. in Biology (Magna Cum Laude) from Amherst College and an M.Phil. in Biology from Yale University (with specialization in Ecology and Evolution). Before founding Population Media Center, he served as Director of the Population Institute's Youth and Student Division, Development Director of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Associate Director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Executive Vice President of Population Communications International. As a graduate student, he was Founder and first Chairperson of the Yale Chapter of Zero Population Growth (ZPG). He also served on the Executive Committee of ZPG, as Eastern Vice President and Secretary of the national organization. Mr. Ryerson is listed in several editions of Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the East. In 2006, he was awarded the Nafis Sadik Prize for Courage from the Rotarian Action Group on Population and Development.

Robert Walker is the President of the Population Institute, where he directs the organization's advocacy and public education activities, including its work on issues related to health, economic development, sustainability and the environment.

A progressive leader and a globally recognized expert on population trends and their implications, Walker has made numerous appearances on nationally televised news programs, including ABC, CBS, PBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, both morning and evening shows. Major opinion leaders, including such notables as Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof, regularly consult with him on issues relating to population and family planning. He also is a frequent guest on radio shows, including NPR and its state affiliates. Walker often speaks before major foreign policy associations, leading universities and colleges, and UN conferences. A frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Walker has blogged for more than a dozen popular blogsites, and has written for, or been quoted in dozens of major newspapers, magazines, journals, and books, including Thomas Friedman latest best-seller, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimists Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations. He has been interviewed recently by more than a dozen major news outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, CNN International, NBC, NPR, Newsweek, The Guardian, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Vice, and Voice of America. 

Walker is a graduate of Rockford College and the University of Illinois School of Law. After law school, he began his career as a top aide to two Congressional leaders Rep. John B. Anderson and Rep. Morris K. Udall, and also served as the chief domestic policy advisor for John Andersons 1980 independent presidential bid and as executive director of Independents for Mondale/Ferraro in 1984. Afterwards, Walker put his Congressional and campaign experience to work for progressive causes, first joining AARP as legislative counsel, and then working as legislative director, and subsequently as president, of Jim and Sarah Bradys organization, where he helped pave the way for passage of the Brady Law. During the epic Congressional fight over legislation banning unlimited soft money contributions, Walker served as executive director of the Common Cause Education Fund. After that successful legislative battle, he became a strategic consultant, advising numerous organizations and progressive coalitions. He recently celebrated his 10th year with the Population Institute.

Jennie Wetter is the Population Institute's director of public policy. Before working at PI Jennie was an editorial policy intern at the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF). At RNRF she worked on various renewable resource issues and the foundation's journal, the Renewable Resources Journal. Jennie also spent time working on two of RNRF's Congresses, one on Emerging Water Contaminants, which looked at issues such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, fire retardants like polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and nanotechnology. The other congress was on environmental science issues facing the U.S. Congress and natural resources agencies. Jennie earned her BA at University of Wisconsin, where she majored in Biological Aspects of Conservation and had the opportunity to study abroad in Kimana, Kenya, examining human-wildlife conflict around the Kimana Community Wildlife Sanctuary. Jennie also received a Masters degree from American University's School for International Service in Washington, DC, where she majored in Global Environmental Policy, focusing on international environmental and development issues. Jennie wrote her thesis in the emerging field of environmental peacemaking looking at the peace building potential of peace parks, using the Greater Limpopo Peace Park in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe as her case study.