Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced that Kevin Griffis has been named the organization’s Vice President for Communications.
Griffis brings nearly two decades of strategic communications and public affairs experience, spanning political campaigns, public service and the private sector, to Planned Parenthood.
Griffis previously served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Obama. There, he led communications for one of the largest departments in the U.S. government, managing an office of 80 employees. Griffis oversaw communications on a wide range of health and public affairs issues – from the Zika virus outbreak, to high-profile legal challenges, to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to two ACA Open Enrollments.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin Griffis to our team,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Cecile Richards. “Planned Parenthood is an essential health care provider on which millions across the country rely for health care and education. Kevin brings unparalleled communications experience in health care policy, advocacy, access, and delivery at a time when these issues have never been more important.”
Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider and a leading advocate for women’s health. One in five women has turned to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life for high-quality, essential reproductive health care. The organization’s nonprofit health centers provide care for 2.5 million people each year. Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund also represent more than 10 million activists, supporters, and donors, and work with officials at the federal, state, and local level to shape pro-women’s health policies.
Griffis joins Planned Parenthood at a unique time. The organization boasts extremely high levels of public support – recent polls have shown between 75-80 percent of the people in America support Planned Parenthood – and has been bolstered by grassroots activism across the country. At the same time, both reproductive health care and Planned Parenthood itself face political attacks under a hostile Congress and administration.
“Our top priority is protecting access to care for our patients – and standing up for the millions of people across this country who need and deserve essential reproductive health care,” said Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Kevin will be a great leader for our communications team – rallying the country to make sure access to reproductive health care is protected, and ultimately expanded.”
Prior to joining HHS, Griffis worked as communications director for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and as communications director and senior advisor for Booker’s successful 2013 special election. He also has experience in the private sector as a principal on the Podesta Group’s public relations team. Since the end of the Obama administration, he has worked with Protect Our Care, the health care coalition assembled to fight the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“Planned Parenthood plays a vital and irreplaceable role in ensuring access to health care and education for millions of people – where they live and when they need it,” Griffis said. “Over the last several years, our country has made real strides toward the goal of a health system where income, race, gender, and geography are no longer barriers to care, but there’s much more work to do and no more important place to do it than Planned Parenthood.”
Griffis first joined the Obama administration in March 2009 as Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He served at the Commerce Department through the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill and major policy initiatives, including the Recovery Act and the National Export Initiative. Prior to his work in the administration, Griffis spent 2007-08 on the Obama campaign, first as the communications director for the South Carolina primary, and going on to work in the primary elections in Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi, Indiana and South Dakota. In the general election, Griffis was Virginia Communications Director.
Before joining President Obama’s campaign, Griffis served as communications director for a 2006 U.S. Senate race in Arizona and for the state coordinated campaign during Tim Kaine’s successful 2005 gubernatorial bid in Virginia. He spent the first six years of his career covering government and politics as a reporter for newspapers in Maryland and in Atlanta, Ga.
Griffis holds a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin and has a 13-year-old daughter.
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 over 650 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 media office: 212-261-4433
April 17, 2017