2017 SXSW Featured Speaker
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, Ms. Richards leads a movement that has worked for nearly 100 years to build a healthier and safer world for women and teens. Every year, approximately 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. Planned Parenthood’s website — plannedparenthood.org — receives 60 million visits a year from individuals seeking health care services and education in both English and Spanish.
Since joining Planned Parenthood in 2006, Ms. Richards has expanded its advocacy for access to health care and ensured that Planned Parenthood played a 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. Under her leadership, the number of Planned Parenthood supporters has more than doubled, reaching 9 million.
Before joining Planned Parenthood, Ms. Richards served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, 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 throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas.
Ms. Richards is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to women’s rights, reproductive health, and sex education.
Ms. Richards currently serves on the board of the Ford Foundation. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and reside in New York City.