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Faye Wattleton, former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood—as well as the first African-American, first female and youngest president in the organization's history—has been one of the strongest champions of women's rights and reproductive health for more than four decades.
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Additionally, during her tenure at Planned Parenthood, Wattleton became one of the most well-known figures in the public debate over abortion. She made countless speeches and gave numerous interviews in her fight to keep abortion legal against strong opposition. Despite receiving several death threats from antiabortion activists, Wattleton continued to be outspoken on the issue.
Following her resignation in 1992, Wattleton turned her attention to creating a new organization: She helped found the Center for the Advancement of Women (CFAW), an independent research, education and public policy advocacy institute, in 1996.
In 1996, Wattleton published Life on the Line, a memoir about her early life and her experiences at Planned Parenthood. Wattleton has garnered numerous accolades for her work, including the Margaret Sanger Award and the Jefferson Public Service Award (both in 1992). More recently, in 2004, she won the Fries Prize for her work in public health.
A skilled manager and administrator, Wattleton has also served on the boards and advisory councils of many nonprofit, corporate and educational organizations over the years, including Savient Pharmaceuticals, Estee Lauder Companies, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbia University, the New York Blood Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2010, she joined Alvarez & Marsal, a global services firm, as a managing director.
Wattleton lives in New York City. Divorced, she has a daughter, Felicia, from her marriage to Franklin Gordon.
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