Norma Swenson

photo of Norma SwensonNorma Swenson, a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves, has worked with colleagues throughout the United States and globally to help define and create the field known as Women and Health. She served as co-author and/or co-editor for most editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and was a contributing author to the popular guide “Ourselves Growing Older,” produced in collaboration with OBOS.

A senior OBOS staff member and the organization’s first director of international programs (until 1998), Norma also served for several years as OBOS president. She is an internationally recognized leader and expert in reproductive and sexual health and rights, and in maternal and child health.

An early leader in the maternity care reform movement, Norma is a past president of the International Childbirth Education Association and of the Boston Association for Childbirth Education.

A graduate of Tufts University, Norma earned her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and studied medical sociology at Tufts, and then at Brandeis University.

She taught Women, Health and Development from a global perspective at HSPH, arguably the first and longest-running women and health course at Harvard University. Currently she gives guest lectures and works with students on independent study projects and consults with non-profits, community groups and university programs. In fall 2014, Norma co-taught an interdisciplinary course, Gender, Health, and Marginalization, at MIT’s Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies.