Karen Kirk is a staff associate at the Population Council. She supports the design, implementation, and dissemination of social and behavioral research studies that aim to strengthen health systems, reduce barriers, and improve access to quality and respectful maternal and reproductive health services. In this role, Kirk contributes to the development of research study protocols and data collection instruments and conducts data collector trainings and qualitative data analysis. She supports activities under projects including Breakthrough RESEARCH, Frontline Health, and others in francophone African countries, including countries in the Sahel and Madagascar.
Kirk was closely involved with the development of important global resources including High Impact Practices for Improved Prevention, Detection, and Management of Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy and the 2015 revision of the Balanced Counseling Strategy Plus.
Prior to this role, Kirk served as research coordinator for maternal and newborn health projects at the Population Council. Before joining the Council, Kirk conducted field work as a graduate student in southern Kenya to assess levels of community satisfaction with their involvement in health programming. In addition, during a semester with the School for International Training in Dakar, Senegal, she conducted independent research on the collaboration between the NGO Tostan and the Ministry of the Family to eliminate female genital cutting in Senegal.
Kirk has an MPH in global health and African studies from Boston University School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in French and gender studies from Davidson College.