BY WALTER OPINDE
A day like this day, 74 years ago, the Managing Director and Head of the Board of Governance advisory practice of Planned Parenthood, Faye Wattleton, was born in New York. Ms. Wattleton’s distinguished career spans more than three decades, during which she has amassed an extraordinary track record for leadership, both as a CEO of national not-for-profit organizations and serving on the boards of public and private corporations, academic institutions, and high-impact philanthropic organizations. Perhaps best known for her executive leadership and advocacy of improving the status and healthcare of women, she brings dynamic and demonstrable experience as an executive board member, and consultant in the health sector and public policy arenas. She has served as a director for a range of public companies, including her service as the chairperson of audit and corporate governance committees.
Before to joining A&M, Ms. Wattleton served as Co-Founder and President of the Center for the Advancement of Women, an independent, nonpartisan think tank, conducting women-focused national research for public education and policy advocacy. During her leadership, CFAW received national and international acclaim for its groundbreaking research on women’s opinions, experiences, roles, and status in the society.
From 1978 to 1992, Ms. Wattleton was the President and CEO of the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary reproductive health provider, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). She was the youngest, first woman and first African-American and the longest serving professional to hold this position. At the time of her departure, a restructured Planned Parenthood had grown to become the nation’s seventh largest nonprofit organization, with an aggregate budget of $500 million, providing medical and educational services to four million Americans each year, through 170 affiliates operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Under its international arm, known as Family Planning International Assistance, PPFA provided technical assistance and commodities to organizations in dozens of developing countries. Lauded as a public spokesperson and for her managerial skills and revolutionary public policy advancement by Business Week and Money, Ms. Wattleton has received countless honors and awards. She was the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Fries Prize for service to improve public health, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
Ms. Wattleton earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ohio State University and a master’s degree from Columbia University. She holds 14 honorary degrees and is the single honoree of the 2014 Ohio State University Alumni Association Medalist award for national and international career distinction.
With more than three decades of corporate governance experience, serving public and private corporations, Ms. Wattleton is an active member of the board of trustees of Columbia University, the board of governors of the PardeeRand Graduate School and serves on the board of directors of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Previously, she served on the boards of directors of public companies, including Ehrlich-Bober Financial Services (between 1986 and 1988), Leslie Fay (between 1993 and 1998), Estée Lauder Companies (from 1995 to 2003), WellChoice, Inc. (from 1993 to 2005), Quidel Corporation (from 1994 to 2006) and Savient Pharmaceuticals (between 1997 and 2007).
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