FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Wonnacott, (916) 996-3672
SACRAMENTO – Today, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is pleased to announce that Jodi Hicks has been named the new CEO & President of the statewide policy and advocacy organization. A longtime health care advocate and lobbyist, Hicks has worked with numerous health care organizations, using her decades of experience to advise clients on government relations and policy. Hicks has been serving as Acting CEO and President since June and has previously served as a lobbyist for PPAC and sat on the board of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
“Planned Parenthood’s seven affiliates provide care at 108 health centers across the state. Today, we are thrilled to welcome Jodi Hicks to lead our legislative and policy agenda as the new CEO and President of PPAC,” said Sheri Bonner, Chair of the California Planned Parenthood Education Fund. “During a time when sexual and reproductive health care is under dire threat from the federal administration, we have the utmost trust in her ability to lead our political and advocacy efforts to ensure that Planned Parenthood’s critical health care services remain available to all those who need them.”
Hicks has been instrumental in numerous high-profile policy and political battles. In her previous work, she helped secure hundreds of millions in California’s budget to increase Medicaid provider rates, address California’s primary care workforce shortage, and invest in sexual and reproductive health care through Prop. 56 funds. She also successfully advocated for landmark public health legislation ensuring children entering schools are immunized.
During her time as Acting CEO/President at PPAC, Hicks has already proven her ability to effectively lead the organization, helping to finalize the historic $100 million in the budget for sexual and reproductive health care. She’s also been instrumental in leading legislative priority strategies to secure funding for security measures for health care centers that provide abortions and expand access to birth control through telehealth.
“Jodi is the epitome of exceptional talent, and we are proud she has been part of the Mercury team for the past year and half,” said Fabian Núñez, Mercury partner and former Assembly Speaker. “At a time when Planned Parenthood is under unprecedented political attacks on a national level, and critical work is being done in California to address health care challenges, Jodi’s experience and vision will serve the organization well in pushing a robust public policy and advocacy program to help expand access and allow patients to thrive.”
Hicks was brought on by the CEOs of the seven California affiliates as Acting CEO & President in June, after the departure of Crystal Strait, during which she retained her role as co-chair of Mercury LLC.
Prior to joining Mercury, Hicks was a partner in the lobby firm DiMare, Brown, Hicks & Kessler, LLC, specializing in health care, energy and social justice issues. Hicks has also served as the Vice President of Government Relations at the California Medical Association, a non-profit organization representing more than 35,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties.
Before her tenure at CMA, Hicks served as the Legislative Director at the California chapter of the National Organization for Women. There, she lobbied on behalf of women and girls in the state, ensuring their continued protection on issues ranging from fair pay to reproductive health. She also helped to defeat Proposition 85 in 2006 and increased California NOW’s presence at the Capitol.
In 2014, Hicks was named to CalNewsroom’s list of the Capitol’s 100 Best & Brightest, an annual ranking of the most powerful players in California politics. She has also made an appearance on Capitol Weekly’s “Top 100” List several times.
Hicks will serve as CEO & President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California effective immediately.
Photo credit: Chantel Elder.
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 reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education.