Kenneth H. Hill has made remarkable contributions to demography with his scholarship, his rigor and passion for population analysis, his dedicated teaching and mentoring, and his applied public health work spanning more than five decades.
Ken earned his B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1974. Ken began his career as a British government statistician in Uganda. Early in his career, he spent time as a demographer in the Centro Latinoamericano de Demografia in Costa Rica. He also spent several years as a senior researcher at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 1986 and 2007, Ken was a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he served as the director of the Hopkins Population Center from 1995 to 2004. Between 2008 and 2015, he was a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Ken is particularly well known for his pioneering work developing demographic methods for estimating fertility, mortality, and migration measures from incomplete or defective data. Much of Ken’s work has focused on the measurement of child and maternal mortality in developing countries. He has also explored the links between demographic parameters and economic crisis; assessed the impact of policies and programs on demographic change; examined the role of gender preferences on child health behaviors and fertility; looked at the role of development, particularly child mortality change, on fertility decline; and he has worked on the measurement of demographic parameters for populations undergoing complex emergencies.
Ken has held numerous leadership roles. He served as Chair of the Technical Advisory Group to the United Nations Interagency Group on Mortality Estimation. He was chair or member of numerous advisory panels of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences over the years. He served as advisor or consultant to the United Nations Population Division, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. He also served the PAA on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Finance Committee and the Publications Committee
Throughout his career, Ken has been a dedicated teacher and mentor. There is a long list of Hopkins and Harvard alumni who were taught and inspired by Ken. There are also many individuals in statistics offices and census bureaus around the world who have attended workshops run by Ken. His remarkable contributions and his kindness and generosity represent a model for many.