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Planned Parenthood is on track and on budget to have its most successful year ever with the announcement of transition leadership team.

New York – The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board of Directors has met to plan for the May departure of longtime president, Cecile Richards. 

“This is another pivotal year for Planned Parenthood,” said Naomi Aberly, board chair. “Thanks to the support of millions of Americans across the country, we are stronger than ever and will continue to provide ‘Care No Matter What’ for the women, men, and young people who depend on us. We are determined to protect women’s health through the upcoming legislative sessions and in elections across the country. We are confident that our leadership at the national office and at Planned Parenthood affiliates will maintain the organization’s momentum as we search for a new president to replace the outstanding and dynamic leadership of Cecile Richards.”

Noted author and columnist Anna Quindlen, a longtime supporter and former Planned Parenthood board member, has been elected to chair the Search Committee. “We couldn’t be more excited that Anna has taken on this important role. Anna’s unique voice on behalf of women has motivated us for decades. The board is grateful for her willingness to help us find our future leader,” Aberly said. 

Additional members of the Search Committee include:

  • Aimee Boone Cunningham, PPFA Board of Directors
  • ​Cathy Hampton, Vice-chair, PPFA Board of Directors
  • Iris Harvey, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio; PPFA Board of Directors
  • Kiki McLean, Secretary, PP Action Fund Board of Directors
  • Luz Towns-Miranda, PP Action Fund Board of Directors
  • Mark Nichols, MD, PPFA Board of Directors
  • Sarah Stoesz, CEO, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota; PPFA Board of Directors
  • Lillian Tamayo, CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida
  • Carmen Rita Wong, PPFA Board of Directors

The process for identifying a new leader for Planned Parenthood is laid out in the board’s succession plan, which was adopted in 2012. The committee will work with a firm that will be selected in the coming weeks to conduct a nationwide search to attract and identify a pool of candidates who can build on Planned Parenthood's 100-year legacy of care and advocacy and reflect the diversity of the employees, volunteers, supporters, and patients who are the backbone of Planned Parenthood. 

Current Planned Parenthood board member Joe Solmonese, former president of the Human Rights Campaign and former CEO of EMILY’s List, has been appointed as transition chair to temporarily oversee day-to-day operations of Planned Parenthood after Richards’ departure in May.

Joe’s experience and willingness to help lead PPFA through this transition will help assure our effectiveness this year and into the future,” Aberly said. 

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, will continue her role as chief political and communications strategist. When Richards departs, Laguens will take on the role of representing the organization across the country in the media, in public forums, and at events with Planned Parenthood’s many partners and allies, ensuring that women’s health care remains a top national priority for 2018.

Debra Alligood White, the general counsel of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, will partner with the Board of Directors and the Search Committee to run an inclusive and transparent process of finding Planned Parenthood’s new leader.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside the Search Committee, the board, and the rest of Planned Parenthood’s leadership team to help identify the next great leader to continue our fight to expand access to care and protect the rights of the people we serve,” Alligood White said. 

Other members of Planned Parenthood’s senior team include:

Kim Custer, Executive Vice President, Health Care 
Melvin Galloway, Chief Operating Officer
Jethro Miller, Chief Development Officer
Tom Subak, Chief Strategy Officer

“The board has full confidence in this management team. We are grateful that Cecile will be leaving a strong and effective organization that is positioned for continued success,” Aberly said.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.