Lectures

Women and Health: A Cause for Optimism?

Photo courtesy of United Nations Development ProgramPhoto courtesy of United Nations Development Program

Lecure by Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The over-arching theme will concern the Sustainable Development Goals after 2015, with attention to new movements within reproductive health, the gender dimensions of universal health coverage, experiences from HIV, and emerging pandemics such as noncommunicable diseases.

For more information, please contact Brittany Charlton at wgh@hsph.harvard.edu.

This event is cosponsored by the Women, Gender, and Health Interdisciplinary Concentration, Harvard School of Public Health; Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies; Harvard Global Health Institute; Harvard School of Public Health Women & Health Initiative; the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Rebeca Grynspan was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective February 1, 2010. Before joining the UN, Ms. Grynspan was elected Vice President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She also served as Housing Minister, Coordinating Minister of Economy, Coordinating Minister of Social Affairs, and Vice Minister of Finance. At the UN and prior to her current appointment, Ms. Grynspan served as Assistant-Secretary-General and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme (2006–2010). Previously, she was Director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Sub-regional Headquarters in Mexico, where she also served as Co-Chair of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Executive Board.

Ms. Grynspan is a strong and consistent advocate for human development. She has helped focus global attention on the need to reduce inequality, build social cohesion, empower women, and achieve the world’s Millennium Development Goals. Her many contributions include spearheading the design and implementation of Costa Rica‘s National Plan Against Poverty and initiating Human Development Reports for Latin America and Caribbean, which broke new ground in highlighting the intergenerational transmission of inequality.

In addition to her experience as an advisor, lecturer, and author, Ms. Grynspan has contributed to key UN initiatives such as the Millennium Project’s Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and on the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development. Ms. Grynspan is also member of the International Advisory Group of International Development Research Centre’s Think Tank Initiative. She has worked with multiple government institutions and national and international organizations as counselor, advisor, and researcher.

A native of Costa Rica, Ms. Grynspan holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Sussex (England).