As Senior Director for Gender, Population and Development, Dr. Suzanne Petroni leads ICRW’s work to improve development programs and policies by expanding the evidence base regarding the relationships between gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescence and demographic and socioeconomic outcomes. She has nearly 25 years of experience in foreign policy and global development.
Suzanne has worked in the U.S. government, and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, and has solid academic grounding in gender, public policy and international relations. Suzanne’s broad background, as well as the passion she brings to the issues, helps her identify and fill gaps in the evidence base and to translate ICRW’s research findings into clear messages and guidance for policymakers and program designers in various contexts globally.
Suzanne’s career is driven by a desire to empower women and youth, advance gender equality and alleviate poverty in the developing world. Currently, she directs ICRW’s research on the economic impacts of child marriage, documents best practices in positive youth development, trains and supports young leaders from the global South in policy advocacy, synthesizes research on health and gender norms in adolescence, and advances the public’s and policymakers’ awareness of the harmful practice of child marriage and of the benefits of providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Suzanne has vast experience working in close partnership with a wide range of donors and partners. At ICRW, she collaborates on projects and informs the policies and positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development, State Department and Congress, as well as those of foreign governments, multilateral agencies, implementing organizations, local civil society groups and youth leaders from around the world.
Prior to joining ICRW in 2012, Suzanne served as Vice President for Global Health at the Public Health Institute, Senior Program Officer for Adolescent Reproductive Health and Youth Leadership at the Summit Foundation, and in a variety of roles in the U.S. government, including Program Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department. In this capacity, she served as the government’s officer-in-charge for the five-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+5).