A native of Brazil, Dr. Carmen Barroso was a professor of the sociology faculty at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a senior researcher with the Carlos Chagas Foundation, where she created Brazil’s first and foremost women's studies center. She was a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Women’s Rights and wrote a regular op-ed column in one of the major Brazilian newspapers.
In 1991 Dr. Barroso became the first non-American woman to be appointed as director in a major US foundation. She was the Director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health program until 2003. Under her leadership, the program funded hundreds of local organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and helped bring the voices and experiences of women from the Global South to international policy fora. In particular, Dr. Barroso has been recognized by the media and academics for the influential role she played in making the health and human rights central to development policy at the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
Since 2003, Dr. Barroso has served as the Regional Director of International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region. Through its 41 Member Associations in the Americas and the Caribbean, IPPF/WHR provides nearly 33 million services annually. As the director of one of the most dynamic regions of IPPF, and as a member of the IPPF global senior team, Dr. Barroso has been a leader in innovation both in advocacy and services, especially for young women.
She has served on several boards and international commissions, including the Millennium Project Task Force on MDG 3, and the Brazilian Commission on Reproductive Health, a pioneer effort for engaging multiple stakeholders in accountability for women’s health policies. Dr. Barroso currently serves on the board of the International AIDS Alliance, is co-chair of PAHO’s Panel on Gender and Health, and is a member of the Independent Expert Review Group of the Global Strategy on Women and Children’s Health, appointed by the Secretary General of the UN.
Dr. Barroso holds a PhD from Columbia University in Social Psychology. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Population Department of Cornell University and received numerous academic and public service awards and honors, including Ford Foundation and Fulbright Scholarships. Most recently she was named among the world’s 100 most influential leaders for maternal health by Women Deliver. Dr. Barroso has published numerous articles in professional journals and popular media in Brazil and internationally, and has consulted for numerous international and intergovernmental agencies.