New York, United States
Julia Bunting became the ninth president of the Population Council in March 2015. Ms. Bunting is widely known for her path-breaking work on reproductive and maternal health during her 12-year tenure at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where she oversaw the UK government’s international development policy on HIV and AIDS; maternal, newborn, and child health; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and population.
Prior to joining the Population Council, she served as the Global Director of the Programme and Technical Division at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), in London.
Ms. Bunting was a lead catalyst of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning. This event brought together the UK government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNFPA, USAID, national governments, donors, civil society, the private sector, and the research and development community to support the rights of women and girls to decide whether to have children and, if so, when and how many. At the Summit, more than 20 low- and middle-income country governments made commitments, and donors pledged an additional $2.6 billion, to enable an additional 120 million girls and women to have access to voluntary family planning information, services, and supplies by 2020.
Ms. Bunting began her career as a demographer and statistician in the UK government working at the Office for National Statistics and the Department of Health domestic issues with a focus on health inequalities, before moving to DFID in 2000. She worked on DFID’s International Statistical Capacity Building Program, collaborating with partners including UN agencies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to improve the analysis and use of data for decision-making—both at the national level and globally. She spent two years in South Africa as a regional statistics adviser working with southern African governments to develop robust indicators for monitoring progress toward national development plans and poverty-reduction strategies.
In June 2013, Ms. Bunting was awarded the honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for ‘improving reproductive health in developing countries’. In 2020, she ceased to actively use the title and became a signatory and supporter of the Excellence not Empire campaign.
Ms. Bunting has served on the boards of several global health partnerships, including the Health Metrics Network (HMN), the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC). She served as chair of the RHSC for four years. She has authored numerous research publications on population trends, family planning, and public health.
Ms. Bunting earned a BA (Hons) in Human Science from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and an MSc in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London.