Ellen Chesler

The Roosevelt Institute

Ellen Chesler is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. She is beginning work on a book on the human rights legacies of Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, and will help the Institute develop programs in this area. Most recently, Ellen was Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Initiative on Women and Public Policy at Roosevelt House, the new public policy institute of Hunter College of the City University of New York. For nearly ten years prior to that, she served as a senior fellow and program director at the Open Society Institute, the international foundation started by George Soros, where she developed and executed the foundation’s multi-million dollar global investments in reproductive health and women’s rights and advised on a range of other program initiatives. She is author of the critically celebrated Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America. She is also co-editor of Where Human Rights Begin: Health, Sexuality and Women in the New Millennium, Rutgers University Press, 2005, and she has written numerous essays and articles in academic anthologies and in newspapers and periodicals including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Nation, the New Republic, the American Prospect, and the Women’s Review of Books. She chairs the Advisory Committee of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is currently one of three Honorary Co-Chairs of a collaborative effort organized under the umbrella of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human rights in Washington, D.C. to ratify The Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) — one of the five major pillars of United Nations human rights enforcement.


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