Tamara Kreinin, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

TITLE: Director, Population and Reproductive Health

FUNDING AREAS: Reproductive health access, education, policy, advocacy, and services, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the United States

CONTACT: tkreinin@packard.org, 650-948-7658

IP TAKE: In countries where reproductive rights are under threat, including the U.S., Kreinin leads Packard's population health team in countering deleterious effects of misguided public policy. Kreinin has worked on expanding reproductive health access, especially in the U.S., for decades. She is active in the political sphere, and focuses simultaneously on influencing power structures at the highest levels and empowering marginalized populations who need help now.

PROFILE: Tamara Kreinin comes to the David and Lucile Packard from the United Nations Foundation, where she directed its global "Women and Population" program until 2012. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is similarly international in scope. Packard devotes millions of dollars every year to fund reproductive health work in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. But at both the UN Foundation and at Packard, it's clear that Kreinin sees plenty of need in her native United States, and also emphasizes her home country and its proliferation of legislative restrictions on reproductive rights, in her grantmaking strategy and decisions.

At the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Kreinin oversees its "Population and Reproductive Health" portfolio. (IP has previously profiled Packard's global reproductive health grantmaking in some detail.) In Africa, the foundation prioritizes sexuality education, the accessibility of voluntary family planning services, abortion rights, and reproductive freedoms for vulnerable populations generally. Packard supports regional African initiatives, but focuses especially on the countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Comprehensive sex education and access to family planning and reproductive care are priorities for Packard in Asia as well, particularly in India, Myanmar, and Pakistan.

And what about the United States, you ask? Notably, Packard's funding priorities in one of the world's wealthiest countries are similar to its priorities in what used to be known as the third world: comprehensive sex education, access to voluntary family planning, and abortion rights. But in the United States, Packard funds legislative work as well, supporting national initiatives that influence reproductive health policy in positive ways, and also concentrating on countering state-level abortion restrictions, especially in Louisiana and Mississippi, through legislative outreach and educational programming. 

Kreinin has a long career in reproductive rights advocacy, dating back to her work at the UN Foundation. But she's also held leadership positions at other U.S. organizations working to expand reproductive health access in political environments hostile to women's rights. From 2000 to 2004, Kreinin served as President and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, where she led advocacy on national reproductive health policy. Kreinin was also previously in charge of state and local affairs for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, where she coordinated with governors, legislators, public health officials, and advocates to improve reproductive health resources and policy at sub-national levels around the country.  

Impressively, Kreinin's high-profile policy gigs have gone hand-in-hand with an active public profile. She authored a book on women's groups, Girls' Night Out: Celebrating Women's Groups Across America, that drew positive attention from Oprah Winfrey. Kreinin also regularly donates to Emily's List, which supports "pro-choice" women in elected office, as well as other political organizations seeking to advance reproductive rights in public policy. And Kreinin is a regular contributor to individual political campaigns, too. She tends to donate to women, and Hillary Clinton is a repeat beneficiary of Kreinin's political generosity.

Kreinin and her team at Packard make several dozen grants a year, most ranging in amount from $100,000 to $500,000, though there are exceptions on both the high and low end of the dollar value spectrum. If your work aligns with Packard's policy and geographic priorities, applying for Packard funding is relatively simple. Submit a one-page letter of inquiry to the Population and Reproductive Health team. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation reviews the letters it receives, and coordinates with submitters, usually within a six-week time frame, to discuss proposals further. 

For a better sense of what reproductive health grants under Kreinin's leadership at Packard actually look like, here are some of the foundation's recent grants:

  • $450,000 to the National Institute for Reproductive Health in support of ongoing family planning policy, advocacy, and service initiatives in U.S. urban centers.
  • $250,000 to Pathfinder International for the expansion of reproductive health services in Myanmar.
  • $250,000 to the Centre for African Family Studies, based in Kenya, to help launch four international conferences on family planning policy in Africa.