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Directory Profile

Shelley Clark

McGill University
Country of residence:

Nationality: Canada
Gender: F

Member since: 2001
Membership No: 21313
Membership Type: regular

Field of Study: Demography, Population and Development, Public Health/ Epidemiology

Specialization: Children and Youth, Families and Households, Gender Roles-Differentials, HIV/AIDS and STI's, Marriage, Divorce and Consensual Unions, Population and Development, Reproductive Health (Family Planning), Urbanization

Regional focus: United States and Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa

Education: Doctorate (Ph.D, MD) , 1999 , Princeton University , Public Administration/Government

Working languages: English

Population Association of America; Rural Sociological Society

Curriculum Vitae:

Professional Summary:

Professor Shelley Clark is a demographer whose research focuses on gender, health, family dynamics, and life course transitions. After receiving her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1999, Dr. Clark served as program associate at the Population Council in New York (1999 to 2002) and as an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago (2002 to 2006). In the summer of 2006, she joined the Department of Sociology at McGill, where in 2012 she became the founding Director of the Centre on Population Dynamics. Her research over the last two decades has examined adolescent transitions, HIV/AIDS, and single motherhood in sub-Saharan Africa. A new research agenda assesses rural and urban inequalities in North America. Her findings have been published in leading journals, such as Demography and Population and Development Review, and presented atl international organizations, including the World Bank, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), WHO, UNFPA/UNICEF, and the Population Council.


Clark, Shelley, Caroline W Kabiru, Sonia Laszlo, and Stella Muthuri. 2019. “The Impact of Childcare on Poor Urban Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa.” Demography, 56:1247–1272 (DOI: 10.1007/s13524-019-00793-3)

Clark, Shelley and Sarah Brauner-Otto. 2015. “Divorce in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are Unions Becoming Less Stable?” Population and Development Review, 41(4): 583-605. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2015.00086.x)

Clark, Shelley and Dana Hamplovà. 2013. “Single Motherhood and Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa:  A Life Course Perspective.” Demography, 50(5):1521-1549.  (DOI 10.1007/s13524-013-0220-6)

Clark, Shelley. 2004. “Early Marriage and HIV Risks in Sub-Saharan Africa.”  Studies in Family Planning, 35(3): 149-160.

Clark, Shelley. 2000. “Son Preference and the Sex Composition of Children: Evidence from India.”  Demography, 37(1): 95-108.


Honorary or professional positions and awards:
Board of Directors, Population Association of America (January 2014-December 2016)
Council Member, Canadian Population Society (May 2013-April 2015)
Canada Research Chair in Gender, Youth and Global Health (April 2007-March 2017)
James McGill Professor of Sociology (May 2017-present)
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford University (September 2017-June 2018)
Deputy Editor, Demography (March 2020-present)
Editorial Board for Journal of Marriage and Family (September 2013-December 2018)
Editorial Committee for Studies in Family Planning (February 2012-May 2017)
Theme Convener on Marriage and Union Formation, Families and Households for IUSSP 2013 International Population Conference (April 2012-August 2013)

Research grants:
Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant (2019-2023): $175,024 CAD
Are Rural Americans Disadvantaged? Inequalities in Life Course Trajectories across the Rural-Urban Divide
PI: Shelley Clark, McGill University

International Development Research Centre (IDRC), GrOW (2014-2017): $948,000 CAD
Creating Better Economic Opportunities for Women in Nairobi Slums Through Improved Childcare Options
PI: Shelley Clark, McGill University
Co-Applicant: Caroline Kabiru, African Population and Health Research Centre

National Institutes of Health, NICHD, R21 (2014-2017): $358,278 USD
Measuring Kinship Support for Children of Single Mothers in Nairobi, Kenya
PI: Sangeetha Mahavan, University of Maryland
Co-PI: Shelley Clark, McGill University

Population Council, RISING (2014-2016): $85,675 USD
Financial Literacy and Educational Incentive Program for Adolescent Girls in Ghana
PI: Shelley Clark, McGill University

NIH NICHD R21 (2006-2009): $274,693 USD
Using Relationship Histories to Improve Sexual Behavior Data Among Kenyan Couples
PI: Nancy Luke, Brown University
Co-Is: Shelley Clark, McGill University and Eliya Zulu, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)