Professor Rob Stephenson named chair of WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for sexual and reproductive health

The U-M School of Nursing’s Sylvia S. Hacker Collegiate Professor of Nursing and Sexual Health Rob Stephenson, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the World Health Organization’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for Sexual and Reproductive Health (STAG-SRH).

Stephenson, who has been a member of the group since 2016, will serve as chair for the next two years. The STAG-SRH is comprised of global sexual and reproductive health experts who review and provide recommendations on the work conducted by the WHO’s Department of Human Reproduction and Sexual and Reproductive Health (HRP-SRH). STAG members participate in an individual capacity and not as representatives of their institution or country.

As chair, one of Stephenson’s primary responsibilities is governing the HRP-SRH annual meeting, which is currently underway in a virtual format through Feb. 24. In this role, Stephenson is charged with moderating discussions, facilitating the running of the meeting and helping establish a set of recommendations that can guide the department’s work plan over the next year. Coordinating a virtual meeting with experts from all time zones adds an extra challenge and added excitement for Stephenson as he begins his new position.

“I am honored to be appointed chair of the STAG-SRH and to be recognized as a global expert in sexual health,” Stephenson said. “I am excited to be chair for the next two years and look forward to participating in discussions on how the work of HRP-SRH will examine links between COVID-19 and sexual and reproductive health,  and how their work will continue to expand in the future.”

At the School of Nursing, Stephenson also leads the Department of Systems, Population and Leadership and Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities.