Our Staff & Board
Director of Childbirth Connection Programs
Carol Sakala leads maternal health and maternity care programming at the National Partnership for Women & Families. She is a long-time maternity care advocate, educator, researcher, author and policy analyst, with a continuous focus on meeting the needs and interests of childbearing women and their families. Sakala sits on advisory bodies and work groups focusing on payment reform, performance measurement and other ways to improve the quality of maternity care. She has been an investigator on all national Listening to Mothers surveys (2002-) and was principal investigator of the most recent Listening to Mothers in California survey. She helps create or commission foundational resources for the field on such topics as the cost of having a baby, maternity care and liability, evidence-based maternity care, effectiveness of labor support, hormonal physiology of childbearing and performance of the nation’s maternity care system. She led the National Partnership’s recent convening and collaboration of 17 national leaders resulting in the consensus report, Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care Through Physiologic Childbearing. Through her guidance, the National Partnership maintains childbirthconnection.org, which features results of systematic reviews to support childbearing women in informed maternity care decision making and helps them navigate the maternity care system. She was a Pew Health Policy fellow at Boston University, where she received her doctorate in health policy through the University Professors Program, and has master's degrees from the University of Utah and the University of Chicago.