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John May

Full Term Professor
John May



Van Metre Hall, Room 648
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201



Dr. John F. May, a US and Belgian national, is a Research Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government. He was trained as a demographer and is a specialist in population policies.

Dr. May has decades of international experience in demographic analysis, population projections, population policies, and family planning, reproductive health & HIV/AIDS programs. Dr. May also has specific experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of population & reproductive health strategies and operations, supported by strong analytical work.

From 2013 to 2017 Dr. May was Visiting Scholar at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in Washington, DC. He was a Lead Demographer at the World Bank for 15 years and has worked for the United Nations (Haiti and New Caledonia), as well as for the Futures Group International, a US consulting firm specializing in demographic modeling and policy. In addition, Dr. May has worked for most international agencies around the world, including the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), UNICEF, UNFPA, and USAID. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Population Institute, Washington, DC.

Dr. May has a BA in Modern History (1973), a MA in demography (1985), which were both earned at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He received his PhD summa cum laude from the University of Paris-V (Sorbonne) in 1996. Dr. May has published World Population Policies: Their Origin, Evolution, and Impact (Springer, 2012), which has received the Population Institute 2012 Global Media Award for best book in population.

Recently published: Groth, Hans, May, John F. (Eds.): Africa's Population: In Search of a Demographic Dividend, Springer 2017.

Areas of Research

  • Population Policies
  • Family Planning & Reproductive Health
  • Demographic Dividend
  • Mortality
  • Fertility
  • Migration
  • Urbanization
  • Sub-Saharan Africa