Richard Parker is Professor Emeritus of Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology and a member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University in New York City. He is also the Director and President of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), a leading non-governmental AIDS organization in Brazil, as well as founder and Co-Chair of Sexuality Policy Watch, a global coalition of researchers, policymakers and activists from a wide range of countries and regions with secretariat offices in Rio de Janeiro and New York City, and founder and Chair of Global AIDS Policy Watch, a knowledge network and policy watchdog initiative on the global HIV epidemic.
Dr Parker was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 1988. He is the author of more than 300 publications, including more than 50 books and edited volumes, where his research has focused on the social and cultural construction of gender and sexuality, the social aspects of HIV/AIDS, the relationship between social inequality, health and disease, and the politics of global health.
He has been a leading participant in international HIV/AIDS research for more than 35 years, helping to establish social science research on the global epidemic through his work. He has conducted long-term research in Brazil since the early 1980s, as well as working on comparative studies carried out in Asia, Africa, North America and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.