Bloomberg School Honors William H. Gates Sr. with New Name for Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health
The Institute also unveils new strategic priorities synthesizing five interconnected global programs with its cross-cutting gender equity work.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health—known for its groundbreaking work on sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equity—as of today has been renamed the William H. Gates Sr. Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
The Institute, based in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, works to promote and cultivate new ways to accelerate locally led progress in gender equity and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Together with local partners, the Institute identifies ideas with the greatest promise for impact on the greatest number of people, especially in under-resourced and marginalized communities.
The Institute’s new name honors the late William H. Gates Sr. (1925-2020) and his inspirational role in philanthropy and lifelong contributions to improving global health and health equity.
“The renaming of the Gates Institute also honors Bill Sr.’s foundational support for the Bloomberg School of Public Health to establish the Institute 24 years ago,” says Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM. “That investment has enabled the Institute to train the leaders of today and tomorrow, engage in groundbreaking research, lead innovative programs, and make positive disruptions to increase family planning access and improve reproductive health across the world.”
In 1997, a two-year planning grant led by William H. Gates Sr. from what would become the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported a new initiative at the Bloomberg School to strengthen population and reproductive health capacity in the developing world. In 1999, the Foundation provided an additional $20 million to officially establish what would become the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, capitalizing on the initiative’s global public health leadership. Since 2012, the Institute has grown significantly and diversified its funding base.
The Institute has reached millions across the globe through programs including The Challenge Initiative, Performance Monitoring for Action, and SMART Advocacy. The Institute has organized the International Conference on Family Planning since 2009. Since its inaugural event in Kampala, Uganda, the conference has become a pivotal catalyst in global reproductive health.
The Institute is also unveiling a refreshed 2023-2030 vision, mission, and strategy synthesizing its strategic priorities to form five interconnected Global Programs—1) Research, Measurement, and Data Monitoring 2) Policy, Advocacy, and Community-building 3) Best Practices Scale Up 4) Next Generation Leaders and 5) Demographic Futures, Population, and Environment—alongside its cross-cutting Gender Equity work.
“On behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I want to express our deep appreciation for the renaming of the institute to the William H. Gates Sr. Institute for Population and Reproductive Health,” says Anita Zaidi, MD, MS, Gender Equality President at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The name honors the enduring legacy of Bill Sr. whose vision and dedication to global health have left an indelible mark on the world and improved countless lives.”
The Institute is embarking on a search for its new leader. Jose G. “Oying” Rimon II, MA, PgDIP, who has served as director since 2014, has announced his retirement. A prominent figure in the fields of family planning and reproductive health, Rimon’s career spans 40 years in leadership roles. He will continue to serve as director of the Gates Institute while a global search is conducted for his successor. The search committee will be chaired by Michael Klag, MD, MPH, Dean Emeritus and Second Century Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“We extend our gratitude to Oying Rimon for his ten years of leadership at the Institute to advance reproductive health, family planning, and health equity,” says Zaidi. “As the Institute transitions to this new chapter, we look forward to seeing it continue to strive to improve the lives of individuals and families globally, and to create a more equal world.”
For more on the Institute’s history and impact, please visit the website.
# # #