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Rachel Robinson Associate Professor School of International Service

Send email to Rachel Robinson
(202) 885-1636 (Office)
SIS - School of International Service
SIS - 341
Office Hours: Wednesdays 4-5:30, Thursdays 4-5:30
PhD, Sociology and Demography, University of California, Berkeley, 2007 MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2003 MA, Demography, University of California, Berkeley, 2002 BA, Sociology and Anthropology, Swarthmore College, 1999

Favorite Spot on Campus
My office
Book Currently Reading
Born a Crime, Trevor Noah
Dr. Robinson is a sociologist and demographer whose research focuses on global health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, including family planning, HIV/AIDS, and sexuality education. Her book, Intimate Interventions: Preventing Pregnancy and Preventing HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge University Press 2017), investigates the relationship between family planning and HIV/AIDS interventions across the continent with a focus on Senegal, Nigeria, and Malawi. Journals that have published her research include Demography, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Population Studies, and Population Research and Policy Review. She has conducted field research in Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal, and current projects relate to politicized homophobia in sub-Saharan Africa and the extent of social science knowledge on NGOs. Her research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Robinson teaches courses on statistics, global health, NGOs, population studies, and development.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • MacArthur Foundation "Sandwich Strategies: Comparative Analysis of Institutional Change in the Global South" 2018-2021 ($500,000, co-PI Jonathan Fox)
  • MacArthur Foundation "Managing the Politics of Adolescent Sexuality Education in Nigeria and Mississippi" 2012-2017 ($300,000, co-PI Jeremy Shiffman)
  • Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship 2009-10   
  • National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship, 2003-06   
  • National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, Graduate Training Grant, 2001-03

Selected Publications

Research Interests

Dr. Robinson's research centers around three main streams. The first stream examines variation in how countries respond to health and development problems and has produced a book and numerous articles related to related to family planning, HIV prevention, and sexuality education in sub-Saharan Africa. Policies, programs, and organizations are of particular interest across these areas. The second stream investigates the origins and effects of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and asks broader questions about state-society relationships. The third stream analyzes fertility timing and outcomes.