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Keynote Speakers and Bios

Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Jane Menken



Thirty-Five Years Later: Long-term effects of the Matlab Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning Program


Jane Menken for the Project Team: Jane Menken, Randall Kuhn, Tania Barham, Abdur Razzaque, Andrew Foster, Elisabeth Root, Nobuko Mizoguchi, Warren C. Jochem, Gisella Kagy, Sveta Milusheva, Patrick Turner





Bangladesh, like most of Asia and the world, has experienced dramatic fertility decline. Also, as in much of Asia, there has been strong government support for family planning. Combined family planning and maternal and child health programs, have been the main approach to reducing population growth. These programs were touted as having benefits beyond affecting population size - promoting economic development and benefitting individuals as well as nations. However causal evidence on the long-run effects on individuals is sparse. This is mainly because there are few well-designed programs with appropriate control groups that followed people over a relatively long time and have sufficient sample sizes and low attrition rates. Matlab is well-known as the site of an important study that meets all of these criteria.


For that reason, I will briefly review population change in Asia and then focus on lessons learned from Matlab about program effects on mortality, fertility, and human capital formation. Taking Matlab as a case study, I will end with a discussion of the need for population studies to go beyond our traditional concerns of accurate measurement and examination of causes of population change to considering consequences of population change for the human condition.





Jane Menken is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and former Director (2001-2015) of its Institute of Behavioral Science. Much of her work concerns fertility; she has developed mathematical models of reproduction and carried out studies of the increase in sterility as women age, fertility determinants in Bangladesh, and teenage pregnancy and childbearing in the United States. More recent research emphasizes population policy, child mortality in developing countries, and demographic change in South Asia, especially as it relates to family networks. Her current work is on evaluation of health and family programs as determinants of health and education, effects of early life conditions on adult health, particularly of women, and social impact of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. She is the author of over 100 publications and author or editor of six books. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Fogarty International Center, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.


Menken was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1989), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1990), and the National Academy of Medicine (1995), and as 1985 President of the Population Association of America. She was honored as the 2009 Laureate of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. She has served on committees of the National Research Council (NRC), the operating agency of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including the Committees on Population and Demography, on Population, and on AIDS Research Needs in the Social, Behavioral, and Statistical Sciences, and the Panel on Data and Research Priorities for Arresting AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. She was also a member of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and of the U.S. delegation to the 1993 Population Summit of the World's Scientific Academies in New Delhi. She chaired the NRC Committee on Population (1998-2002) and its Working Group on Aging in Africa (2002-2006).


Educated at the University of Pennsylvania (A.B. Mathematics, 1960), Harvard School of Public Health (M.S. in Biostatistics, 1962), and Princeton University (Ph.D., Sociology and Demography, 1975), she held various positions at Princeton University in the Office of Population Research (1975-1987), including Assistant Director (1978-86) and Associate Director (1986-87), and as Professor of Sociology (1980-82) and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs (1982-87). For 10 years (1987-97), she was UPS Foundation Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and, for a 6-year term (1989-1995), the Director of the Population Studies Center. She became a faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.


Menken has served on National Institutes of Health advisory committees; she chaired the Social Sciences and Population Study Section (1980-82) and served on the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (1995-2000) and the Advisory Board of the Fogarty International Center (2000-2002). She has served on committees at the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation, and on the Board of Directors of the Alan Guttmacher Institute. She frequently acts as a consultant to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.


She is deeply committed to research capacity building in the developing world. She served as Chair of the African Population and Health Research Center (Nairobi, Kenya) Board of Directors, and a member of the Southern African Journal of Demography Editorial Board. She chaired the Steering Committee of the Mellon HIV/AIDS Program at the University of KwaZuluNatal, (Durban, South Africa) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the INDEPTH Network (2002-2007). In recognition of her work with the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) on collaborative research on HIV/AIDS and in developing their Population Studies Program, Wits awarded her an Honorary Professorship. The CU African Population Studies Research and Training Program, which is directed by Menken has been supported through grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NIH Fogarty International Center and the National Institute on Aging.


Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Shireen J Jejeebhoy



The transition to adulthood in Asia:

Keeping the promises of the SDGs for adolescents and youth


Shireen J Jejeebhoy


This presentation addresses the question: how effective have countries of Asia been in promoting, among adolescents and youth, a successful transition from childhood to adulthood, and more specifically, to what extent have countries of the region made progress in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4 and 5 promises relating to meeting the SRH needs and rights of the young? The presentation outlines key attributes of a successful transition to adulthood, namely, the successful completion of at least a secondary school education, acquisition of livelihood skills and preparation for skilled economic activity; informed, safe and consensual entry into sexual relations before or within marriage; delayed entry into marriage until at least the minimum legal age, and with free and full consent about when and whom to marry; delayed parenthood until after adolescence and safe entry into motherhood; and exercise of agency in life choices. It then draws on available data and synthesises what we know about how far countries of this region have progressed in enabling a successful transition to adulthood, and highlights how far we need to go in order to meet the SDGs by 2030. It concludes by outlining evidence-informed leads for investment in programmes for adolescents and youth, notably girls and young women.





Shireen Jejeebhoy is Director of Centre for Equity and Wellbeing and Vice President of International Union for Scientific Studies of Population (IUSSP). She has been working independently in the areas of adolescent health and development, gender based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights since April 2016. Earlier, she was Senior Associate, Population Council, India (2002-March 2016); she led its work on young people, gender-based violence, and preventing unsafe abortion, was responsible for conducting the Youth in India study, India’s first sub-national study of youth, and trials assessing the feasibility of medication and surgical abortion provision by midlevel providers in India. During 1998-2002, she was Scientist in the Reproductive Health and Research Department, WHO (Geneva), focusing on adolescent health and development, quality of care, and other RH issues. She served on the IUSSP Council (2010-2013), and the Council of the Asian Population Association (2009-2010), was a member of scientific groups and panels of both organisations, and participated in and/or played a key role in organising various IUSSP and APA conferences and seminars.


Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Wolfgang Lutz



The Asian Century will be based on Human Capital




The Harvard economists Goldin and Katz have labeled the 20th the American century based on human capital claiming that by mid-century the US had clearly the best educated population in the world following the largely public education based high school and college movements earlier in the century. They suggest that this was the main reason for the US to raise to the leader power in the world during the second half of the century. But they also point to the fact that since the 1970s US human capital started to erode with the average quality of education declining with the wide-spread privatization of education being a possible reason.

In this talk I will demonstrate how Eastern Asia has been rapidly catching up in terms of education and how the young cohorts are already better educated than in most Western countries. Given the strong momentum of improvement of human capital along cohort lines, over the coming decades Eastern Asia will slowly but surely expand its human capital and consequently its economic and political power. But Asia is heterogeneous and South Asia is following this trend of universal high quality education only with great delays. The talk will also compare the trends of the two population billionaires China and India and question the widely held few that India has a brighter economic future due to a younger age structure. In fact, because of leaving half of its population behind in terms of education, India will have a very hard time in catching up with China.

Currently, the American decline happens to proceed faster than expected. Such rapid change in the global power structure may come with some risks. At the same time significant new risks arise in the context of global climate change. We will also discuss how human capital matters for climate change mitigation and the adaptation to already unavoidable climate change.





Wolfgang Lutz is Founding Director of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, a cooperation between IIASA (where he directs the World Population Program), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (where he is scientific director of the Vienna Institute of Demography), and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (where he is Professor of Applied Statistics). He holds a PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania.


He has widely published on international population trends with a special focus on population forecasting, population-development-environment interactions and introducing education as a standard demographic dimension in addition to age and sex. He has published over 250 scientific articles, including 11 in Science and Nature. His most recent book with OUP is entitled ”World Population and Human Capital in the 21st Century”. He has won prestigious awards including the Wittgenstein Prize, two ERC Advanced Grants, the Mattei Dogan award of the IUSSP and the Mindel Shaps Award of PAA. He is member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Finnish Society for Sciences and Letters, and the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS).


Professor Lutz has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General to be one of the 15 members of the Independent Group of Scientists whose task is to produce the quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report 2019.


Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Sonalde Desai



Growing Indian Middle Class and Family Changes in India


Sonalde Desai




India has undergone rapid economic growth in recent years and wages of the urban middle classes have risen sharply. However, little attention has been paid to the extent to which economic growth has led to a transformation in family structure and family dynamics.  Recent research suggests that Indian families have undergone substantial changes in some areas, but these changes are not universal. Whereas school enrollment has increased, and fertility has fallen, there women’s employment has declined and arranged marriages persist. This presentation seeks to reconcile these contradictory trends.




Sonalde Desai is a Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland with joint appointment as a Senior Fellow at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. Sonal received Ph.D. from Stanford University and post-doctoral training at University of Chicago and The RAND Corporation.


She is a demographer whose work deals primarily with human development in developing countries with a particular focus on gender and class inequalities. She studies employment, education and maternal and child health outcomes by locating them within the policy discourse and political economy of the region. While much of her research focuses on India, she has also undertaken comparative studies across South Asia, Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa.


She has published articles in a wide range of sociological and demographic journals. Presently she is leading a large nationally representative panel survey, India Human Development Survey (IHDS) a nationwide panel survey of over 40,000 households. Sonal also directs National Data Innovation Centre (NDIC), established recently as a collaborative venture of NCAER, University of Maryland and University of Michigan.


Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Xizhe Peng


What China Can Learn From Other Asian Countries And Regions In Coping With Aging


Xize Peng




Aging has been a norm of today’s world demographics and affected socioeconomic development of all countries and regions. While aging is basically a demographic phenomenonits driven factors could change among populations. And also, policies and system arrangement for coping with aging challenge must be affected by, or designed in the context of, different cultural traditions and political-societal institutions.  At the same time, profound societal innovations and revolution in science and technology have been reshaping our modes of production and live.


This talk will be based on the recent population dynamics in China, and some eastern Asian countries and regions, and discuss diversity and similarity of the aging process in these populations. The speaker will then explore new ideas and innovations in dealing with aging society by governments and societies. Attention will also be laid on possibilities enhanced by scientific and technological development supporting these innovations.




Dr. Peng Xizhe received his Ph.D. degree in Population Studies from London School of Economics and Political Science. He is currently professor of Population and Development, and chairs several research centers in Fudan University, including Center for Population and Development Policy Studies.


Dr. Peng is a member of the Expert Committee of China’s National Public Health and Family Planning Commission. He served as a member of scientific committee in various international academic communities such as IUSSP, IHDP and ESSP. He is one of the leading population and development specialists in China, whose research covers a wide range of issues, including population dynamics and policy, aging society and social security, sustainable development and gender studies. Dr. Peng is the PI of the research program on basic scientific issues in aging society sponsored by China’s National Science Foundation. He has received several national awards.





Keynote at Asian Population Conference

Zsolt Speder



Fertility intentions and realization in a comparative perspective: drivers and divides in low fertility context



Zsolt Spéder, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute





To study the link between fertility intentions and realization is a key issue to understand fertility behavior and development, since fertility decisions in modern societies are conscious and planned. The gap between expected (or ideal) number of children and the total fertility rate at the macro level is widely known since decades, but most recent data facilitate to investigate short term fertility intentions and realizations, and enables to gain a fresh insight into fertility decision making, and to develop new understandings of low fertility. Research based on the Gender and Generation Survey, beyond the role of demographic factors, such as parity, age, partnership revealed socio-economic and subjective factors contributing to failure of intention realization. Although comparative analyses are also present, country-specific analyses are more widespread so far. Whereas country-specific analyses enabled to identify the above factors in more detail, comparative analyses reveal universal influences of the key demographic factors, but more importantly, divides among European low fertility regimes. Recently we were able to identify a clear West-East divide. Currently, we investigate if ‘close to replacement’ and ‘low’ fertility level European countries differ in their rate of realization, and if yes, what factors contribute to this. On the other hand we include country-specific variables of family policies (based on the extent of intervention) and cultural factors in our multi-level modelling of fertility intention realization.  We also test, if our earlier result, the West-East divide, also prevails if extending the analysis to more countries and additional periods. The results contribute to understand low fertility and enable also to formulate some lessons for potential policy formulation.





Personal information


Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, Hungarian Statistical Office, Buday László 1-4, 124 Budapest


Work: + 36 1 3456449 ? Handy: +36 309195130 ?


Current positions and previous professional activities


director, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, Hungarian Central Statistical Office


professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Social and Media Studies, Department Sociology


head, founder, Doctoral School of Demography and Sociology, University of Pécs


visiting research fellow, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe


visiting research fellow, Max-Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock


Eisenhower Fellowship, Multi Nation program (2 months),

 Stays at  Office of Population Research, Princeton; Population Studies Center, Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan; Center for Population and Ecology, University of Wisconsin;


junior research fellow, Collegium Budapest, Institute of Advanced Study


research fellow, Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung Berlin (WZB)


Soros-fellowship,  J.W.Goethe Universit?t Frankfurt am Main


Memberships, scientific and public activities


President of European Association of Population Studies (EAPS)


President of the Demographic Committee, Division Economic and Legal Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences


Member of the council, European Association of Population Studies


Membership in Editorial Boards/Scientific Boards


Social Forces, Advances in Life Course Research, International Sociology, Demográfia, Statisztikai Szemle


member of the Scientific Board of the Vienna Institute of Demography at the Austrian Academy of Sciences


Chair of the Council of Partners, Member of the Consortium Board, Generation and Gender Program


Recent and Current Research Projects, International


Generation and Gender Program


Reproductive decision-making in a macro-micro perspective (REPRO), FP7,


The Timing of the life: Understanding the Consequences of Individualization for the Organisation of the Life Course in Europe.



Recent and Current Research Projects, National


Hungarian Cohort Study (Cohort2018)  (head)


“Family transitions” Hungarian Science and Research Fund (OTKA, #K 109397) (PI)


The demography of the childhood (PI)


Changing of Family attitudes 1988-2013, Analyse of the ISSP “Family” module (PI)


Selected International Publications


Sailing close to the wind? The effects of third birth policies in post-communist Hungary. Hungarian Demographic Research Institute Working Papers of Population, Family and Welfare, No. 27, p. 26. (with L. Murinkó, L., Oláh.)


Educational enrolment, double-status positions and the transition to motherhood in Hungary. European Journal of Population (with T. Bartus)


Fertility decline and the persistence of low fertility in a changing policy environment — a Hungarian case study. in. Rindfuss, R. Choe, M, eds., Low Fertility Institutions, and their Policies, Springer, p. 165-194


Marriage and cohabitation. In: Monostori, J. ?ri, P., Spéder, Zs.  (eds.): Demographic Portrait of Hungary 2015. Report on the Conditions of the Hungarian Population. Demographic Research Institute, Budapest, 9-26. (with L. Murinkó)


Influences on the Link Between Fertility Intentions and Behavioural Outcomes. Lessons from a European Comparative Study. DOI: 10.1007/978-017-9401-5 In book: Philipov, D., Liefbroer, A.C.  Klobas, J.  (eds.) Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective, Springer, pp. 79-112 (with B. Kapitány)


Spéder, Zs. and B. Kapitány (2014): Failure to Realize Fertility Intentions: A Key Aspect of the Post-communist Fertility Transition. Population Research and Policy Review;   Vol. 33. Issue 3. pp. 393-418., (with B. Kapitány)


Are conceptions of Adulthood Universal and Unisex? Ages and Social Markers in 25 European Countries. Social Forces Vol. 92. No. 3. p. 873-898. (with L. Murinkó and R.A: Settersten)


Life-course transitions and the Hungarian employment model before and after the societal transformation. In: Anxo, D., Bosch, G., Rubery, J. (eds.): The Welfare State and Life Transitions. Edward Elgar p. 287-327.(with B. Kapitány, L. Neumann)


Generation and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a Better Understanding of Relationships and Processes in the Life Course. Demographic Research, Volume 17. no.14. pp.  389-440. (with A. Vikat et al.)


Soon, later, or ever? The impact of anomie and social capital on fertility intentions in Bulgaria (2002) and Hungary (2001) Population Studies, Vol. 60. No. 3. pp. 289-308. (with D. Philipov, F. C. Billari)


Societal transition, policy changes and family formation: Evidences from Hungary. European Journal of Population, Vol. 22. no.2. pp. 127-152. (with A. Aassve, F.C. Billari)


Fertility and family issues in an enlarged Europe. (with T. Fahey)


Winners and losers: Transformational outcomes in a comparative context. in. Kolosi, T., Tót,I.Gy, Vukovich, Gy., eds. Social report 1998. Budapest, TáRKI, p. 123-147. (with R. Habich)


Poverty dynamics in Hungary during the transformation. Economics of Transition, vol. 6. (no.1.) p. 1–22.


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