Cecile Richards

President, Planned Parenthood® Action Fund

Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Over the course of her career, she has become a nationally recognized progressive leader and a fierce advocate for reproductive health and rights. Since coming to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in February 2006, Ms. Richards has led the organization to many significant achievements, including its success in targeting November 2006 electoral races in the heartland of America, leading to pro-choice wins in the gubernatorial races in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as numerous state legislative gains across the region.

As president of the Action Fund, Ms. Richards oversees its engagement in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing. Ms. Richards also oversees the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Political Action Committee (Planned Parenthood Federal PAC), a nonpartisan political action committee committed to supporting pro-choice, pro-family planning candidates for federal office.

Before joining Planned Parenthood, Ms. Richards served as deputy chief of staff for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and played a key role in her election as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.

Ms. Richards has a long history of organizing in support of reproductive freedom and social justice. In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national membership-based organizations, that works to maximize voter registration, education, and mobilization efforts at the grassroots level.

She created and directed a national pro-choice project for the Turner Foundation, working closely with Planned Parenthood affiliates and national staff. She also formed and served as president of Pro-Choice Vote, a committee active in the 2000 election cycle.

Ms. Richards began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas. The daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards, Ms. Richards was raised in a family committed to social justice and public service. She worked side by side with her mother on her very first campaign — the successful election to the state legislature of Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Cecile Richards and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children. They currently reside in New York City.

Statements by Cecile Richards and Interviews in Outside Media

Interview: Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards on Sen. John McCain
Hardball, October 16, 2008

OpEd: "Blocking Care for Women" by Cecile Richards and Hillary Rodham Clinton
New York Times, September 19, 2008

Podcast: Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards Spoke with Suzanne Reisman About Reproductive Rights
Blogher.com, August 7, 2008

Watch the Speech Given by Cecile Richards at the Democratic National Convention:

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Posted October 22, 2008

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