(PRESS STATEMENT) Center for Reproductive Rights founding Board member Shelly J. Segal passed away at his summer home in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on Saturday, October 17. Segal, a distinguished scientist in global population, contraceptive development, and family planning, was 83 years old. He served on the Center’s Board for seventeen years. Center President Nancy Northup released this statement today:
“We at the Center for Reproductive Rights are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Shelly Segal. Shelly brought wisdom, warmth, collegiality, an incisive scientific mind and a deep commitment to our founding and, for nearly two decades, the work of our Board.
“As a leading authority on global population issues, family planning and contraceptive technologies in a career that spanned over fifty years, Shelly made extraordinary achievements in his professional life, contributing to the health of millions of women around the world. He directed research that led to the development of groundbreaking contraceptives, including the copper-bearing IUDs and implant contraceptives. That research also resulted in initial studies on contraceptive vaginal rings, contraceptive vaccines, and male contraceptives.
“Shelly’s accomplishments have been recognized by the most distinguished organizations and even heads of state. In 1984, he received the United Nations Population Award. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences‘ Institute of Medicine. In 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Academy of Human Reproduction, and in 2007, he was awarded the Joseph Bolivar DeLee Humanitarian Award from the University of Chicago for his contribution to the health of women and infants. The President of India decorated him after he spent two years as a visiting professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and served as an advisor to the Indian government. And in 2008, Shelly shared the Prix Galien USA Pro Bono Humanum Award for his role in developing implantable hormone delivery systems. Shelly also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Bank, the European Parliament, and the United States Congress.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to Shelly’s wife Harriet and the rest of the Segal family. We will all miss Shelly’s brilliance, his friendship and excellent sense of humor and peerless commitment to improving the lives and freedom of women through his focus on women’s reproductive health.”