Madeleine Short Fabic

2019 Winner

Position: Public Health Advisor
Organization: USAID

Master of Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Additional Degrees and Certifications:

  • B.A. in International Relations, Minor in Mandarin Chinese
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Mentor, Global Give Back Circle Future Political Leaders Program (2016-present)
    Awarding Organization:
    Global Give Back Circle
    Date Awarded:
    September 1, 2016
  • Award:
    USAID Global Health Outstanding Paper of the Year
    Awarding Organization:
    Date Awarded:
    June 1, 2015
  • Award:
    Presidential Management Fellow
    Awarding Organization:
    U.S. Office of Personnel Management
    Date Awarded:
    May 1, 2007

“Madeleine successfully advocated for the inclusion of Demand Satisfied as an indicator for the SDG, shaped the future of quality data for FP research and advocacy through management of the DHS, and conducted important research on FP methods like LAM.”

Apoorva Jadhav, Demography and Health Technical Advisor at USAID

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I am especially proud of my role in ensuring family planning’s explicit inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initial steps of this work were analytic and resulted in peer reviewed publications, but the bulk of work was related to communicating USAID’s interests and building a coalition of like-minded groups and individuals across the U.S. Government, the United Nations, and civil society. Thanks to concerted efforts of myself and my team, our proposed indicator—percent demand for family planning satisfied with modern contraceptive methods—was widely embraced and is now a formal indicator of the SDGs. This was a major win. FP is unequivocally recognized as an integral component of the world’s goals for 2030 and beyond.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My interest in FP and demography sparked while working in China. Due to the One Child Policy, I met children nicknamed “too many”; I heard horrendous stories of forced abortion; I also saw the rapid economic growth of a country reaping its demographic dividend. Soon after, graduate studies took me to Ethiopia, where I worked for an organization devoted to expanding contraceptive access. Supporting FP choices of women across Amhara, my fascination became passion & I became a lifelong FP devotee.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

To achieve universal FP access, we need more nuanced data & we need to increase data accessibility. As USAID’s principal for the Demographic and Health Surveys Program, I use my unique position to lead in this area. Recent successes include:
•Conceptualization of studies exploring fertility intentions, unmet need, & contraceptive use, data from which are informing the next DHS questionnaire iteration;
•Development of the Contraceptive Calendar Tutorial;
•Creation of the DHS User Forum.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? 

I recently started an FP/RH Salon with the aim of building bridges between domestic and international FP/RH programs, research, challenges, & frameworks. We meet quarterly and are moving from talk to action—using our niche skills in FP/RH-related research and communication to craft pithy, scientifically accurate responses to common FP/RH misconceptions touted by media, politicians, internet trolls, and others. I will use the grant to amplify our work through social and print media.