In its fiftieth-year as an NGO and your seventh year as its president, you lead the Population Council as it meets head-on some of the most important challenges facing the planet. The Population Council operates 19 offices on five continents, often in the most desperate and neglected communities, and is an international leader in understanding population growth and its relationship to reproductive health, the well-being of the family and community, and the social and economic implications of demographic change.
The Council's Center for Biomedical Research develops and tests innovative products to prevent unwanted pregnancies, safeguard health, combat HIV, and address other diseases of the reproductive system. The Council also helps shape public policy and creates affordable programs - especially in family planning - for developing countries. Carraguard - its latest microbicide designed to prevent HIV infection - was recently featured in Newsweek. There are high hopes that Carraguard and other similar products can reverse the current rate of 2.5 million new infections each year. In a world where the public health and poverty-related challenges often seem overwhelming, the Council proves over and over that we really can change the world.
It is hard to imagine someone better suited to lead the Population Council. You have a degree in mathematics from Harvard, a Masters in public health and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton. You began your career as a research associate at the East-West Population Institute and then became Director of the Committee on Population at the National Academy of Sciences. You left there four years later to become Vice President and Director of RAND's Domestic Research Division, responsible for research on health, education, population, and criminal and civil justice issues. You joined the Population Council in 1999.
An active scholar, your research has appeared in journals such as Science, the American Journal of Public Health, Population Studies, the Journal of Gerontology, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. You have authored or edited five books and your current research focuses on health trends among the elderly in the United States and Asia.
Elizabeth McCormack, Chairman of the Board of the Population Council and a dear friend of Marlboro, praises you saying: "The Council is incredibly fortunate to have Linda. Her knowledge, wisdom, and good judgment make her a powerful leader. Her kindness and empathy means we will always engage people most in need and tackle the toughest problems. That's as it should be." As our students prepare to leave this campus and make their contributions, you stand out as a model of conscience and action.
Linda Martin, we are pleased to confer upon you the degree: Doctor
of Humane Letters, Honorary