Faye Wattleton 

Faye Wattleton is the president of the Center for Gender Equality, a not-for-profit research, policy development and education institution created in 1995 to promote strategies for dismantling the obstacles that impede full equality for women.  The Center’s mission is also committed to education of policy makers and opinion leaders, and broad-based information to the general public. 

From 1978 to 1992, Ms. Wattleton's vision, leadership and courage projected Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation's oldest and largest voluntary reproductive health organization, into the forefront of the battle to preserve women's fundamental right to self-determination.  As the youngest person and first woman named to the presidency of PPFA, she played a major role in defining the national debate over reproductive rights and health, and in shaping family planning policies and programs.   

Ms. Wattleton's articulate leadership and high visibility on reproductive health and women’s rights captured the attention of the nation.  At the time of her departure, Planned Parenthood had grown to become the nation’s seventh largest charity, providing medical and educational services to four million Americans each year, through 170 affiliates, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia.  PPFA also supported family planning programs in dozens of countries in the developing world through its international division, Family Planning International Assistance.   

Ms. Wattleton holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Ohio State University and a master of science degree in maternal and infant care, with certification as a nurse-midwife, from Columbia University.  Her mark in many walks of life is evidenced by her impressive list of awards and twelve honorary doctoral degrees.  Among her numerous honors are the National Mother’s Day Committee 1997 Outstanding Mother and the 1992 recipient of the Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service performed by a Private Citizen.  Other honors include the American Public Health Association's Award of Excellence; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Humanitarian Award; Independent Sector's John Gardner Award; the Women's Honors in Public Service from the American Nurses Association; and, the American Humanist Award.  Planned Parenthood Federation of America honored her with its 1992 Margaret Sanger Award and she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Ms. Wattleton is a celebrated lecturer whose views on issues of women’s equality, health care and civil rights continue to be sought by organizations, opinion and political leaders around the world.  In 1994, she was named one of the best female speakers in the United States by NEW WOMAN magazine. 

BUSINESS WEEK named her one of the best managers of non-profit organizations in America; MONEY magazine selected Ms. Wattleton as one of five outstanding Americans, who project the forces that will shape our lives in the year 2,000; ESQUIRE named Ms. Wattleton as one of the 25 most influential people in America, EBONY named her as one of the 100 Most Fascinating Black Women Of The 20th Century, while PEOPLE listed Ms. Wattleton as one of the 25 most beautiful people in the world, and HARPER'S BAZAAR selected her as one of the ten most beautiful women in America.  Cover stories on Ms. Wattleton have appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES magazine, BLACK ENTERPRISE, MS., WORKING WOMAN and Heart & Soul magazine.  In a poll of SASSY magazine readers, she was named "one of the twenty coolest women ever."

She has appeared in numerous national publications and on public affairs and news programs, including "GOOD MORNING AMERICA", “OPRAH”, "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT", "60 MINUTES", "MACNEIL-LEHRER NEWSHOUR", "TODAY SHOW", "20/20",   "NIGHTLINE", CNBC’s “Hockenberry Show”,"POLITICALLY INCORRECT", "CBS THIS MORNING" and "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS".  

In the book, Remarkable Women of The Twentieth Century, Ms. Wattleton is cited for the “courage of Her Convictions.”  In the face of resistance, public ridicule, or even mortal danger, these women listened to their hearts and their unshakeable faith.  In standing up for what they believed in they spoke out for many who dared not.”  The book Fifty On Fifty features Faye Wattleton as one of the their “remarkable role models”. Ms. Wattleton is also featured in a national photography exhibit, "I DREAM A WORLD: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America". 

She presently serves on the boards of directors of the Estée Lauder Companies, Quidel Corporation, Bio-Technology General,, Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Institute for International Education and Jazz at Lincoln Center. 

Ms. Wattleton’s memoirs, Life on the Line, was published in the fall of 1996 by Ballantine Book