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NEW YORK — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) announced today that it has appointed Stuart Schear its vice president for communications, effective immediately.

Schear brings nearly 25 years of communications experience in health care politics, policy, and advocacy to PPFA, where he will direct all communications activities to advance the federation’s mission and its immediate public health and policy goals. 

Over the course of his career, Schear has worked as a health care journalist, a member of the staff of the White House Press Office, and the director of major health care advocacy campaigns and projects for three of the most prominent philanthropies active in the United States.

“Stuart Schear’s diverse and impressive career in health journalism, government, and health advocacy has prepared him to take a leadership role in employing the power of communications to guarantee affordable, quality reproductive health care for all in the United States,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards.  “We’re delighted to have someone of Stuart’s experience join us in the midst of the historic effort to pass and implement health care reform.”

As a health care journalist for the PBS NewsHour and NBC News, Schear reported on major health stories, including HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.  At the White House, Schear managed the television news interview operation for the Clinton administration in 1996 and 1997. While working for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Schear created and managed two major national advocacy campaigns: the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School-Campaign, which connects low-income families to health care coverage for their children through Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program; and Cover the Uninsured Week, the largest ongoing campaign to draw attention to the plight of the 46 million Americans who have no health care coverage.

Most recently, Schear served as communications and policy executive for the Atlantic Philanthropies, where he managed a $25 million grant to Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the largest progressive coalition campaigning for health reform in the United States in 2009.  Atlantic’s grant to HCAN is one of the largest advocacy grants in the history of the United States, and PPFA is a member of HCAN, which is committed to ensuring quality, affordable reproductive health care in a reformed health care system.

Schear also served as director of communications for the Markle Foundation, where he led the effort to market and promote www.katrinahealth.org, an online service that connected evacuees of Hurricane Katrina with their electronic prescription medication histories. 

Schear has won many awards and honors.  In 1993, he was a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow in Health Reporting during the program’s inaugural year.  In 2002, PR News named him Nonprofit PR Professional of the Year, and he and the team he led at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation were awarded the 2002 David Ogilvy Award, Grand Winner, by the Advertising Research Foundation, for market research for the Covering Kids & Families Back-to-School Campaign.

Schear holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University.


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 700 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.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Christie Petrone, 212-261-4433


May 14, 2014