Promoting talent from within and onboarding new top officials in policy and advocacy
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) is thrilled to announce new additions to its and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)'s senior staff. Julia Frifield will join PPFA and PPAF as the senior vice president of policy, campaigns, and advocacy. The organization also congratulates Kelley Robinson, who currently serves as national organizing director, on the newly created role of executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund; and, Jacqueline Ayers, who currently serves as national director, legislative affairs, on her new role of PPFA and PPAF vice president of public policy and government relations.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
I am thrilled to welcome Julia to our team and to congratulate Kelley and Jacqueline on their new roles. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is fighting through every avenue to combat this administration’s unethical and dangerous Title X gag rule; we will have a strong team that will lead policy, grassroots organizing, and legislative action to defeat further attempts to erode and also to push proactive efforts to expand sexual and reproductive health care across the country. As we approach the most significant election of our lifetimes, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and local Planned Parenthood advocacy and political entities plan to run our biggest electoral campaign in our history. That is why I have created the new position of the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, who will work hand-in-hand with national and local teams to mobilize at a larger scale than ever to ensure that we elect champions of reproductive health and rights, from the presidency to both chamber of Congress to Governor’s mansions, state legislatures, and all the way up and down the ballot.
“After years of leadership in Congress, leading electoral victories, organizing and building movements in and outside of Planned Parenthood, no one is better suited to lead this fight than these women. These leaders in advocacy, social justice, elections, and organizing all bring exceptional experience to our organization, and at a time when these issues have never been more important, they will help us ensure that access to reproductive health care, including the right to safe, legal abortion, is protected and understood as the standard health care that it is.
Julia Frifield will join PPAF on March 25, as the senior vice president of policy, campaigns and advocacy from Johns Hopkins University, where she has been serving as senior advisor for global affairs. Prior to John Hopkins University, Frifield served as chief of staff for Senator Barbara Mikulski for ten years, where she assisted the senator with her work as the chair of the Appropriations Committee and on legislation to improve access to health care, including the Women's Health Amendment to the Affordable Care Act. She was subsequently the assistant secretary for legislative affairs in the U.S. Department of State for four years, where she was the principal advisor to Secretary John Kerry on congressional affairs. She built support with partners on a range of international initiatives and worked through appropriations to strengthen international family planning.
Kelley Robinson will start a new role as executive director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund on April 15. Robinson currently serves as national organizing director for the Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Robinson enters this role with over 12 years of experience as a leader in the progressive field, with an expertise in sexual and reproductive health, and a deep commitment to leading with equity. Prior to joining Planned Parenthood in 2011, Kelley began her career as an organizer for Obama for America in 2008, later refining her skills as a regional organizer for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and then as the national field manager for URGE. Kelley has served as a key leader in driving PPFA and PPAF’s vision for supporter engagement by serving as the lead strategist for its #IStandwithPP and #PinkOut National Mobilizations, creating Path to Power, the organizations’ grassroots training program, developing a variety of constituency programs, and she most recently was the campaign director for Planned Parenthood’s Supreme Court fight. Outside of Planned Parenthood, Robinson serves on the board of SisterSong, the largest national women of color reproductive justice collective as well as the vice chair of the board of the Alliance for Youth Action.
Jacqueline Ayers will start a new role as vice president of public policy and government relations, also effective Monday, March 25. Ayers currently serves as national director, legislative affairs and has worked in legislative affairs at PPFA and Action Fund for the last six years. Initially, her career with Planned Parenthood began in 2006, where she spent four years as a lobbyist. Ayers has successfully advanced policy and legislative goals by developing and maintaining trusted partnerships with key Congressional allies and engaging Planned Parenthood and coalition partners on policy efforts. Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Ayers worked on Capitol Hill, served as the legislative director at the National Urban League and at the state level with ACLU in Indiana and is licensed to practice law in Indiana.
Frifield, Robinson, and Ayers start their new roles during an exciting time. With the arrival of Dr. Leana Wen, the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, the organization is reiterating that it is well past time that women's health care — including birth control, cancer screenings, abortion care and STD testing and treatment — is recognized for what it is: standard health care.
Annually, Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than 9.5 million reproductive health care services, including more than 660,000 cancer screenings, 2.7 million birth control services, more than 700,000 HIV tests, and more than 4.4 million STD tests total. Planned Parenthood provides transgender hormone therapy in 17 states. Planned Parenthood health centers provide care for 2.4 million people each year.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is the most trusted name in health care advocacy. In 2018,Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations ran their largest midterm electoral program ever –– investing up and down the ticket across the country. This investment helped flip the House to a pro-reproductive health care majority. Of the 24 House races Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations invested in –– they won 20 of them –– including all 6 that we deeply invested in. In partnership with Color of Change PAC, Center for Community Change Action, and SEIU, Planned Parenthood Votes focused on mobilizing infrequent midterm voters, including young people and people of color. Overall, Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations and our partners reached 5.5 million voters this election.
Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund also represent more than 12 million activists, supporters, and donors, and work with officials at the federal, state, and local level to shape pro-women, pro-family health policies.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.