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Isobel Coleman

Deputy Administrator For Policy And Programming, USAID

Isobel Coleman has over two decades of foreign policy experience. Coleman has been a vocal advocate for reproductive health and rights as they relate to global development. She has been coded green based on evidence that shows she is largely in support of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

On June 3, 2021, It Was Announced That Coleman Was President Biden’s Nominee For Deputy Administrator For Policy And Programming, United States Agency For International Development

On June 3, 2021, Coleman Was Included On A List Of Key Nominees Published By The White House. “Ambassador Isobel Coleman is a foreign policy and global development expert with more than 25 years of experience working in government, the private sector and non-profits. Most recently, she served on the Biden Transition Team, leading the review of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. From 2014-2017, she was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management, Reform and Special Political Affairs. During that time, she represented the United States in the UN General Assembly on budgetary matters and in the UN Security Council on Africa and peacekeeping issues. From 2018-2020, she was the Chief Operating Officer of GiveDirectly, an international non-profit tackling poverty by providing unconditional cash transfers to the extreme poor.” [White House, 6/3/21]

Coleman Has Authored Articles That Explain The Economic And Public Health Impact Of Expanded Access To Reproductive Healthcare

Coleman Explained The Mutual Nature Of Global Development And Improved Reproductive Health Outcomes. “Over the last several decades, it has become accepted wisdom that improving the status of women is one of the most critical levers of international development. When women are educated and can earn and control income, a number of good results follow: infant mortality declines, child health and nutrition improve, agricultural productivity rises, population growth slows, economies expand, and cycles of poverty are broken.” [Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010]

Coleman Explained Why The Private Sector Has A Stake In Human Reproductive Rights. “Closing the gender gap and improving women's rights in the Middle East, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa may take many generations, but the benefits will be huge -- not only for the individual women and their families but also for global markets. As companies seek new sources of revenue in emerging economies, they will find that gender disparities pose an obstacle to doing business. The sooner the private sector works to overcome gender inequality, the better off the world -- and companies' own bottom lines -- will be.” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010]

Coleman Aptly Identified The Unmet Need For Contraceptives As A Contributor To Maternal Morbidity And Mortality. “I'm often asked, what is the single most important intervention to improve the lives of women and girls in developing countries? I usually answer by urging investment in girls' education. But a close second--and in some cases I would put first--is birth control. Access to family planning is a matter of survival for many of the world's women, and their children too. Save the Children reports that pregnancy causes more deaths (50,000) of teenaged women aged 15-19 than any other cause. A recent Gates Foundation-funded study in The Lancet suggests that in 2008, contraceptive use prevented 272,040 maternal deaths--and that if every woman who wanted access to contraceptives had them, then an additional 104,00 mothers would live each year. Moreover, birth spacing is also critical for reducing child mortality. Save the Children notes that if mothers waited 36 months to conceive again after the birth of a child, the deaths of 1.8 million children (or one-quarter of the deaths of children under 5) could be avoided. Yet some 220 million women around the world "have an unmet need for family planning." [The Atlantic, 7/12/12]

Coleman Declared Family Planning A Global Priority In A Blog Post From 2013. “In April 2011, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and I published a CFR report titled Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy that discusses similar themes. The report emphasizes how investing in family planning supports a myriad of U.S. foreign policy and international development objectives. Allowing women to make decisions about the size of their families and the timing of their pregnancies has positive health outcomes such as reduced maternal and child mortality, improved child health, and fewer safe and unsafe abortions. Moreover, family planning is highly cost effective: for every U.S. dollar spent on family planning, six are saved, and communities reap substantial economic benefits. When women are given access to contraceptives and other modern methods of family planning, they are able to stay in school -- and extended education is directly correlated with increased income. These women are also more likely to join the workforce and run their own businesses, allowing them to contribute to their local economies and fulfill their potential to be productive members of their communities.” [Council On Foreign Relations, 11/15/13]

Coleman Has Signaled Support For Global Abortion Access And LGBTQIA+ Equality

Coleman Signaled Support For Global Abortion Rights When She Tweeted A Foreign Policy Article About The Senate Appropriation Committee’s 2017 Decision To Overturn The Global Gag Rule And Fund The United Nations Population Fund. 

[Isobel Coleman Twitter, 9/7/17]

Coleman Signaled Support Of Global LGBTQIA+ Rights When She Tweeted A Picture Of Delegates Walking On A Rainbow-Colored Sidewalk During The 2016 General Assembly. 

[Isobel Coleman Twitter, 9/19/16]

Coleman Has Signaled Support For Foreign Feminist Policy

Coleman Signaled Support For Foreign Feminist Policy In Her Tweet Congratulating The Launch Of The Fuller Project — A Global Nonprofit Newsroom Dedicated To Reporting On Women.

[Isobel Coleman Twitter, 9/20/18]

Coleman Tweeted Support For Cherith Norman, Trump-Appointed U.S Ambassador For UN Management And Reform And Member Of 2019 Commission On The Status Of Women Anti-Abortion Delegation

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