Cecile Richards and Timothy E. Wirth

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and United Nations Foundation

Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is a leader in national progressive politics with more than 20 years of experience working on behalf of reproductive freedom and social justice. Cecile has a long history of work in the reproductive rights and health community, having founded and served as president of Pro-Choice Vote, the largest 527 political committee in the 2000 election cycle, and serving on the board of several national organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Prior to coming to Planned Parenthood, Cecile served as founder and president of America Votes, a coalition of more than 30 national organizations that raised and spent more than $350 million to maximize voter registration, education, and mobilization among grassroots organizations in 2004. Prior to her work at America Votes, Cecile served as deputy chief of staff for House member and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, where she played a key role in Ms. Pelosi's election as the first female Democratic leader of the House of Representatives.

Cecile began her career organizing low-wage garment workers on the Rio Grande border in Texas and she took a role in directing the successful "Justice for Janitors" campaign in Los Angeles to increase access to improved health care and wages for immigrant janitors. She also formed the Texas Freedom Network, a network of more than 10,000 clergy and community leaders working across the state of Texas to combat the anti-choice, radical policy agenda of the extreme right. The Texas Freedom Network serves as a model for other advocacy organizations and has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Mother Jones, among other national publications.

As the daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards, Cecile was raised in a family committed to social justice and public service. She and her husband have three children.


All Work

Back and Forth Responsibility

Cecile Richards and Timothy E. Wirth

If we do our jobs as parents and adults, then we can hope that our kids, or any kid, can turn to us when they need help, when they are in crisis, or simply when they are struggling to sort through their sexual health concerns and relationships.

World AIDS Day — December 1

Cecile Richards and Timothy E. Wirth

Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Accountability, for you, for me, for us. That's the theme for World AIDS Day 2006 and there couldn't be a more appropriate time to spread a more important message. Twenty-five years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, infection rates are at record levels and are still rising. We must hold ourselves accountable and we must take action.

The numbers are sobering, and worth repeating: Forty million adults and children are currently infected with HIV/AIDS around the world - that's the entire population of Spain. And in the last year alone, more than four million men, women, and children were infected, and three million died.

HIV/AIDS does not discriminate - that much we know. But it does destroy families, weaken communities, and affect economic growth and security. And right now, the rates of HIV infection are spiraling higher in certain populations, particularly women and youth, the most vulnerable among us. In countries such as Thailand or Uganda, where HIV/AIDS was thought to be on the decline, the epidemic is resurging. This is unacceptable, especially because we can prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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