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July 14, 2021

Brandon Richards, Communications Director
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SACRAMENTO – Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) announced new hires and promotions for its Communications and Campaigns team. Brandon Richards is joining PPAC as Communications Director, Shireen Whitaker is transitioning into a newly created role where she will serve as Culture and Equity Manager, and Shawna McKnight is adding the title ‘PAC Manager’ to her current role of Public Affairs Director.

“We are pleased to have Brandon join the communications and campaigns team and fill a key role in PPAC’s work to protect and expand equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care as we face increasing threats to reproductive rights across the nation” said Jodi Hicks, CEO/President of PPAC. “Brandon’s experience in state and federal legislative chambers, judicial and regulatory matters, and statewide campaigns makes him a valuable addition to our team and will help guide PPAC’s communications work heading into 2022 and beyond.”

“We are also excited to announce the creation of a new role at PPAC, ‘Culture and Equity Manager’ and can think of no better person to build out this position than Shireen Whitaker,” Hicks continued. “Shireen has led efforts internally and externally at PPAC to reach communities PPAC serves, and in this new role she will continue to build upon her great work to make sure PPAC lives up to its promise of being an equitable, inclusive, and welcoming organization.”

“Shawna McKnight’s success as PPAC’s Public Affairs Director is why we are incredibly proud to share that she is adding ‘PAC Manager’ to her title here at PPAC,” Hicks said. “With Shawna leading PPAC’s political efforts, we will continue to elect and support reproductive rights champions in California to ensure we remain a Reproductive Freedom State.”

Brandon Richards comes to PPAC from the Democratic Attorneys General Association where he served in multiple communications roles during the last two and a half years, most recently as Deputy Communications Director overseeing political communication for incumbent Democratic AGs, AG candidates, and the committee. Brandon is a graduate of George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and Willamette University, and is a Seattle native. He will be located in Sacramento.

Shireen Whitaker most recently served as PPAC’s Digital Manager and has been with PPAC for the last 2 years.

Shawna McKnight has been with PPAC for the last 1.5 years.



Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education


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