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TRENTON, N.J. —  Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey (PPNCSNJ) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey (PPAFNJ) are building new strength by expanding the statewide leadership team with the addition of Jackie Cornell, who will serve as the Executive Director of PPAFNJ and the Chief Government Relations Officer of PPNCSNJ, effective August 15, 2022. Cornell will focus on expanding Planned Parenthood’s capacity for community partnership development and public policy efforts.

“Jackie brings her deep commitment to public health and knowledge of the inner workings of both federal and state governments,” said PPNCSNJ President & CEO and PPAFNJ board member Cory Neering. “As we face continued attacks on reproductive health care across the country, Jackie will help us build new strength to overcome obstacles to reproductive health and rights and protect and expand access to care for all.” 

“There is no more essential place to be, in this moment, than at Planned Parenthood,” said Jackie Cornell. “Reproductive health and rights are foundational to strong public health and to thriving communities, which is something I’ve carried with me since my first position at Planned Parenthood nearly 20 years ago. I’m delighted to return to the Planned Parenthood team to ensure that every New Jerseyan has access to the reproductive health care they need — no matter what.”

In all her work, Cornell is a fierce advocate for health equity for populations that have been underserved by mainstream health services including young women, the LGBTQ+ community, and those who turn to nontraditional treatments such as cannabis to improve their wellness and quality of life. Cornell previously served as the principal deputy commissioner of health for the State of New Jersey, advancing policies and programs to serve some of New Jersey's most marginalized communities. Under President Barack Obama, she was regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

She has served in leadership roles at two transformational start ups - 1906 New Highs, a nutraceutical company that pioneered the fastest acting cannabis tablets in the country, and Unite Us, a technology company focused on providing end-to-end solutions addressing social determinants of health. She also worked for New Jersey Policy Perspective, the New Jersey Hospital Association, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), and a series of electoral campaigns. Passionate about building a robust and diverse bench across sectors, Cornell founded the New Jersey chapter of the New Leaders Council, the country’s largest leadership training program for young progressive professionals. She began her career as a peer-to-peer health educator at Planned Parenthood.

Cornell’s addition to leadership of PPNCSNJ and PPAFNJ increases capacity to respond to mounting attacks on reproductive health and rights. After the Supreme Court has eliminated our federal right to abortion, here in New Jersey the priority continues to be efforts to protect and expand access to the full range of reproductive health care for patients - regardless of their income, their zip code, their insurance coverage, or their immigration status. Cornell looks forward to meeting Planned Parenthood supporters and advocates at upcoming events this fall. For ways to get involved, visit ppactionnj.org to sign up for an upcoming event.



Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey, Inc (PPNCSNJ) is a leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for people of all genders, as well as a highly regarded provider of sex education. With 16 health centers across the state, PPNCSNJ serves all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through our health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey (PPAFNJ) is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) non-profit social welfare organization, and the advocacy arm of the Planned Parenthood Affiliates in New Jersey. We advocate for access to essential health care through education, activism, voter engagement, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.


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