Applications Now Open: The Global “Green” Family Planning Fellowship

Oct 22, 2013 • Views 821

Sponsored by Butler Koshland Fellowships

Butler Koshland Fellowships is searching for an emerging leader to serve as a fellow to J. Joseph Speidel, M.D., M.P.H., Director for Communication, Development, and External Relations, Bixby Center For Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco.

About the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

The UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health was formed in 1999 to address the health, social, and economic consequences of sex and reproduction through research and training in contraception, family planning, and STIs. The Bixby Center strives to develop preventive solutions to the most pressing domestic and international reproductive health problems. They have more than 100 active research and training projects with an annual budget of about $50 million. Their primary tools are research, training, and policy analysis.

About Butler Koshland Fellowships

Butler Koshland Fellowships is a unique program designed to pass on public service leadership skills and legacy. Our model is simple and personal—we ask extraordinary leaders to mentor an emerging leader. Each mentor and fellow pair work closely together on a project for one year, during which time we fund the fellow’s salary. The fellow is also integrated into and supported by a community of Butler Koshland fellows and mentors—past, current, and future—doing important work for the common good.

Read more about the Butler Koshland Fellowship experience and application process in our interviews with Butler Koshland Fellows,  Mehroz Baig and José González.


Beginning in January, 2014, the fellow would work under the direction and guidance of Dr. Speidel as a Butler Koshland Fellow. In this role, the fellow would support the executive-level goals of UCSF’s Bixby Center. The fellow will experience the array of duties and responsibilities required to successfully lead a nonprofit organization in today’s world and have the opportunity to observe the highly-accomplished team at the Bixby Center as they generate work of large-scale significance—work to be done with the deepest regard for human rights and with the goal of empowering women and their communities.

Dr. Speidel has several areas of work, both at the Bixby Center and on the boards he serves, however, he will be dedicating the next part of his career to focusing especially on a project concerning the potential of voluntary family planning efforts to reduce global population as a means to positively impact the environment with a focus on addressing current dire food scarcity projections.

Currently, a confluence of long-term environmental and population trends is undermining world food availability. These factors include: increased diversion of grains for biofuel production and livestock feed; widespread overfishing and the collapse of multiple fish stocks; the greenhouse effect leading to a rapidly changing climate, shrinking availability of fresh water, and declining productivity of marginal croplands; and rapid population growth, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (where the population is expected to more than double in the next 38 years, from 900 million to 2.1 billion). If these trends continue and as predicted, and the world’s population increases from the current 7.1 billion to 9.6 billion by 2050, the competition for food resources, water, and fuel will increase the likelihood of armed conflicts, social unrest including food riots, and widespread human suffering. Yet despite the great potential of family planning programs to prevent these potentially catastrophic outcomes, only half of the funds needed to provide services to all those who want them in developing countries are available.

Therefore, the ultimate priority of Dr. Speidel’s project is to increase the priority and funding afforded to international family planning programs in order to:

  • Satisfy existing demand for services
  • Improve reproductive health-especially that of women
  • Reduce population growth
  • Accelerate economic development
  • Protect the environment
  • Slow global climate change, and
  • Improve food security for 850 million now hungry people

Research and Strategy: Currently, the important link between food security and population growth is being neglected. The principle strategy of the project is to mobilize food security advocates, researchers, and program implementers to become “green” family planning advocates by clearly making the case that population growth can be reduced and food security improved with voluntary family planning programs. Considering that family planning remains controversial for some, the case must be compelling enough to transcend politics and build consensus. In order to move this effort forward, the fellow will assist Dr. Speidel and the Bixby Center team as they:

  • Develop a common strategy for advocacy effort with stakeholders and other organizations
  • Document the relationship between food scarcity, economic development, population growth, and family planning
  • Analyze the cost-effectiveness and food security outcomes and strengthening of family planning programs, and
  • Identify and work with partner organizations

Using evidence-based public policy advocacy strategies, the fellow will also help develop strategic plans keyed to specific kinds of organizations: international organizations (e.g. the World Bank), government agencies (e.g. USAID), and foundations (e.g. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Communications: A major effort like this requires a nuanced and sophisticated communications campaign that can move stakeholders to embrace this project’s potential to improve human welfare. Working with colleagues and organizations in the fields of family planning, environment, and food security, the fellow with assist Dr. Speidel and the Bixby Center team in framing and broadcasting issues for specific audiences, including government aid organizations, multilateral organizations, policy makers, and the NGO advocacy community. As part of this work, the fellow will participate in the creation and production of materials needed to support the recommended advocacy interventions. The fellow will also be part of efforts to build public support—via both traditional and social media—for the positive role family planning can play in addressing food scarcity. Working with the team, the fellow will help share the project’s important message through scientific publications, press releases, letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, and editorial board briefings.

Development: The fellow will have the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Speidel and a team of expert fundraisers as they seek additional funding for this initiative from foundations, individual donors, and government grants. This work will involve research, grant writing, in-person pitches, and donor follow-up.


Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to public service. Candidates should have at least 3 years of work experience. Relevant experience could include: experience in communications and marketing such as academic or work experience in a communications, community outreach, media or public affairs position; experience with social media as a tool for communications, stakeholder development, feedback, and business goals; experience in public and nonprofit administration such as academic or work experience in public administration, program management, business development and analysis, or nonprofit management; academic or work experience in related fields related to the position such as public health, public policy, environmental conservation, international affairs, etc.

Because the duties of the fellow involve strong communication and analytical skills, this position requires someone with a diverse set of abilities and personality traits, including: intellectual agility, friendliness, ability to interface with diplomacy and congeniality while facing multiple deadlines, excellent writing abilities, good presentation and verbal communication skills, ability to maintain calm in public settings, acumen for research, sense of humor, and cultural sensitivity. Applicants also must be adept at organizing both their own work and the work of others, have practical experience in making things happen, and know when to be appropriately discreet with confidential information.


The application deadline is November 18, 2013. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with final candidates selected in late November for interviews to be held in early December. To apply please submit a cover letter and resume addressing your qualifications and interest in this fellowship along with a writing sample of no more than 10 pages. Please be sure to detail any technical skills you may have. We encourage applicants to also include relevant, short samples of their previous work—written reports, links to web-based publications, podcasts, ad copy, pitch letters, press releases, videos, and any other materials demonstrating communication skills are welcome.

Please send all application materials via email to the attention of Butler Koshland Fellowships’ Executive Director, Kate Brumage, at with the subject line “Speidel Fellowship.” Only those chosen to interview will be contacted.  Do not contact Dr. Speidel, the Bixby Center, or UCSF directly.

The fellow will work from the San Francisco office of the Bixby Center. Fellow compensation will be $48,000 per year plus employer provided health and other benefits. The fellow will work a standard 40-hour work-week and should be available to travel and attend evening programs as needed.

Butler Koshland Fellowships is open to all applicants.  Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

Butler Koshland Fellowships is also now accepting applications for a mentorship opportunity in Violence Prevention Policy. Read more and apply by November 13, 2013.

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