Ellen McDonald, 816.444.0052
Published: 11.07.13| Updated: 11.07.13
Ellen McDonald, 816.444.0052
Kansas City, MO (Nov. 7, 2013) — Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM), announced today that Peter Brownlie, its President and Chief Executive Officer since 1999, will be retiring in the Spring of 2014. The Board of Directors has begun a national search for Mr. Brownlie’s successor, assisted by a national executive recruiting firm. Mr. Brownlie’s retirement will begin after the appointment of the next President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Board of Directors issued the following statement: “Peter’s passion, vision and determination have been critical to maintaining our promise to be here for Kansas and Missouri women and families, no matter what. That promise has been challenged repeatedly in recent years, yet we’ve always persevered. Peter’s relentless commitment to our mission has inspired our staff, volunteers and supporters. We are so thankful for his many years of leadership.”
“We're grateful to Peter for 35 years of leadership on behalf of women, men and young people in Kansas, Missouri and across the country,” said Cecile Richards, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “For the last 15 years, Peter's been on the front lines of the fight for women's health in one of the toughest states for women. Peter has gone toe-to-toe with the Kansas state legislature, the governor, and the attorney general -- all to make sure Planned Parenthood can be there for the people who need us most. We wish Peter all the best in retirement, where we know he will continue to be a strong advocate for the women, men and families of Kansas and Missouri.”
“I’ve served as CEO almost 15 years – 15 years of unending pride and gratitude for the opportunity to do important work, and to do it with some of the finest people in the world – staff, volunteers, Board members, donors, supporters, public officials – who share the values and vision of Planned Parenthood,” Mr. Brownlie said. “Because of their dedication, perseverance and hard work, we remain as committed as ever to helping women, families and our communities to be strong and healthy.
“My time at Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri caps a career in nonprofit management which began in 1973, almost all in reproductive health care and advocacy. I’ve had the great good fortune to lead three Planned Parenthood agencies and be part of one of the most trusted and respected nonprofit organizations in America.”
Mr. Brownlie has overcome significant challenges during his tenure at Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM). These include hostile legislation in both states; increasingly restrictive abortion laws; a lengthy criminal investigation and groundless criminal charges brought by former Attorney General and District Attorney Phill Kline; the convening of a Grand Jury in Kansas to investigate whether PPKM was following the state’s abortion laws; and a law, passed by the Kansas Legislature, requiring Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood (CH) to meet arduous licensing requirements which did nothing to protect the health and safety of women.
Under Mr. Brownlie’s leadership, PPKM successfully fought restrictive abortion laws in both states, both in the legislatures and in court. The Grand Jury in 2008 not only declined to issue any indictments, but recommended the legislature strengthen the statute authorizing citizen-petitioned Grand Juries to require petitioners to produce evidence before a jury can be called. Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood passed the state’s unnecessary and burdensome inspection and was granted an abortion facility license – demonstrating PPKM has always operated with the highest standards of patient care and has rigorous safety procedures in place. And most important, the criminal charges brought by Mr. Kline were dismissed in 2011 and 2012 for lack of foundation in law and fact.
Mr. Brownlie’s tenure included other notable accomplishments. The numbers of donors, volunteers and supporters increased dramatically, and the organization’s fundraising doubled. Each year, 30,000 women turn to PPKM for health services, and another 12,000 people benefit from education services. PPKM was presented the 2013 Affiliate Excellence Award for Volunteer Excellence by Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 2010, Mr. Brownlie led a year-long celebration of PPKM’s 75th Anniversary, culminating with a special evening featuring singer/songwriter Judy Collins and Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. In 2009, the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus awarded Mr. Brownlie the Mel Carnahan Good Guy award, given annually to a male community leader who has supported the Caucus’ mission of promoting women and women’s issues.
Mr. Brownlie has spent his career with agencies offering reproductive health services and serving those impacted by HIV/AIDS. He began in 1973 as Director of Family Planning and Sexuality Education at a multi-service center for adolescents in New York City. He then served as Director of Youth Services with Planned Parenthood of Washtenaw County (now Planned Parenthood Mid-Michigan Alliance), Ann Arbor, MI from 1976 to 1978.
From 1978 to1982, Mr. Brownlie was the CEO at Planned Parenthood of North Central Indiana, headquartered in South Bend, IN. In 1982 he became CEO at Planned Parenthood of North Texas, headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, where he remained until 1996. Before coming to PPKM, Mr. Brownlie served from 1996 to 1998 as CEO of AIDS Services of Austin, TX, a multi-service agency serving those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Brownlie is a recognized national and regional leader of Planned Parenthood. He has served as a member and officer of many Planned Parenthood organizations, including the Affiliate Chief Executive Council, Resource Alliance Council, Fund for the Future, Cultural Diversity Task Force, Central Region Executive Committee, and the Policyholder’s Council of Planned Parenthood’s national insurance program.
Mr. Brownlie will remain in the Kansas City area with Deborah Jenkins, his wife. He plans on traveling, spending more time with family and friends as well as continuing to “do good works” as a volunteer.
About Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
PPKM and its affiliated surgical center operate nine health centers in two states, serving more than 30,000 women and men each year. PPKM provides community education in its major population centers and has an active public policy program in both states.