Lauren van der Walt PhD, MPH, MA

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health

  • Executive Director, Optio

Dr. Lauren van der Walt is a Lecturer in the School of Public Health at Berkeley. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Optio, a non-profit organization that develops tools and strategies to advance the rights of women and girls in the United States and Latin America. Lauren has worked for a number of non-governmental organizations including UNICEF, the Berkeley Human Rights Center, and Venture Strategies for Health and Development. Her work focuses primarily on using policy reform and harm reduction strategies to improve women’s access to reproductive health in restrictive settings.

  • PhD – Public Health Policy, UC Berkeley, 2018
  • MPH – Public Health, UC Berkeley, 2012
  • MA – Medical Anthropology, University of South Florida, 2011
  • BA – Anthropology, Connecticut College, 2005
  • Reducing barriers that prevent access to family planning, maternal health services, and safe abortion
  • Improving access to reproductive health services through digital health technologies
  • Reducing maternal deaths through the use of misoprostol
  • Promoting reproductive health and rights through proactive policy and legislation
  • PH181: Population and Poverty (Fall)
  • PH101: A Sustainable World: Challenges and Opportunities (Fall & Spring)
  • PH 196: Special Topics in Public Health (Fall & Spring)
  • PH 150E: Community Health and Development (Spring)
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