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John J. Sciarra, MD, PhD

Recipient, SFP 2014 Allan Rosenfield Award for
Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning

John J. Sciarra, MD, PhDJohn J. Sciarra, MD, PhD, served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Northwestern University Medical School and Northwestern Memorial Hospital from 1974-2003. He is presently Professor and Chairman Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern. At Northwestern, he began the Northwestern Family Planning Fellowship in 2002 and served as the first Fellowship Director.

Dr. Sciarra attended Yale University and received both his medical degree and his PhD from Columbia, where he completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1965. He began his academic career at Columbia and relocated to the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1968 as Professor and head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. At Minnesota, he initiated the Program for Applied Research on Fertility Regulation (PARFR) whose primary objective was to develop contraceptives that would enhance family planning programs in low-resource settings. This program moved to Northwestern in 1975 and was responsible for much of the fundamental research leading to family planning methods that are used today around the world.

Internationally, Dr. Sciarra served as a Member and Chair of the Scientific and Ethical Review Group of the WHO’s Special Program for Research in Human Reproduction. From 1991-1994, he was President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), an association representing over 100 member countries, most of them in the developing world. During this time, he and his FIGO colleagues began the Safe Motherhood Initiative to reduce the high levels of maternal mortality in developing countries. He was the Editor of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics from 1985-2007 and he was the founding Editor of the Global Library of Women's Medicine that was launched in November, 2008, and now has readers from over 170 countries worldwide.

In recent years, he was the Chair of the ACOG committee of International Affairs and was one of SFP’s founding members and SFP Treasurer for the organization’s first six years of existence. He is a Member of the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood and is the Vice President of the International Academy of Human Reproduction.

Dr. Sciarra has written more than 200 scientific papers and has authored or edited 16 books in the areas of obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, and contraceptive development.

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