Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and was recently awarded with INFORUM's 21st Century Visionary Award. At the ceremony, she talked about the war against Planned Parenthood and women.
She has earned respect for her poised leadership amidst controversy, braving congressional budget debates and forcefully advocating for equal access to health care and women's reproductive rights. Her initiatives extend far beyond the gender sector, however, and include promoting leadership programs for today's youth and leading national health-based educational campaigns. Richards has mastered the seeming oxymoron of a gentle revolutionary, which this award recognizes, as she continues her lifelong fight to inspire women and the next generation.
Clara Jeffery is editor-in-chief of Mother Jones magazine. Before joining the staff of Mother Jones, she was a senior editor of Harper’s magazine, where she worked for almost seven years. Seven pieces that she edited have been finalists for National Magazine Awards, in the categories of essay, profile, reporting, public interest, and fiction.
Works she edited have also been selected to appear in various editions of Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Science Writing. While at Harper’s, she also conceived and organized a series of public forums broadcast on WNYC. Previously, Jeffery worked at Washington City Paper, where she wrote and edited political, investigative, and narrative features, was a columnist, and frequently appeared on FOX-TV’s reporters’ roundtable on behalf of the paper.
Jeffery received an MSJ with honors from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in 1993 and graduated cum laude from Carleton College in 1989. She grew up in Arlington, Virginia.
Cecile Richards became the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 2006. Previously, she founded America Votes and the Texas Freedom Network and served as the deputy chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi. Her honors include the 2010 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. She is a member of the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees.