Cecile Richards is a nationally respected leader in the field of women’s health and reproductive rights. As president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Richards leads a movement that has worked for nearly 100 years to build a healthier and safer world for women and teens. Every year, over 650 Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers nationwide provide health care services to 2.5 million patients, and sex education and outreach to 1.5 million people.
Since joining Planned Parenthood in 2006, Richards has expanded its advocacy for access to health care and ensured its pivotal role in shaping health care coverage and services for women under the Affordable Care Act. In 2011, she led an unprecedented nationwide campaign to preserve access to Planned Parenthood preventive care through federal programs. The number of Planned Parenthood supporters has more than doubled under her leadership, reaching 8.5 million.
Richards previously served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2004, she founded and served as president of AmericaVotes, a coalition of national grassroots organizations working to maximize registration, education, and voter participation. She began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries.