New Directors Join Board of Center for Reproductive Rights
(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization that fights to ensure reproductive rights are guaranteed in law as human rights, announced four new members of the organization’s Board of Directors.
The new board members, including leaders with expertise in business and finance, government affairs, public policy, and nonprofit management, include: Maria Cardona (Washington, DC), Barbara N. Grossman (Boston, MA), Heather Podesta (Washington, DC) and Kathleen Tait (New York, NY).
“We are proud and honored to welcome such distinguished and dedicated individuals to our Board of Directors,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The diversity of their experiences, the breadth of their vision, and the depth of their commitment to the most important social issues of our time will help the Center for Reproductive Rights expand our reach and impact dramatically our mission to advance and defend women’s fundamental human rights.”
The Center’s game changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in the use of constitutional, international, and comparative human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies. It has played a key role in securing legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization, child marriage, and female genital mutilation. It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in over 55 countries.
Biographical information about the new Board members is below:
Maria Cardona has more than two decades of experience in the government, politics, public relations and community affairs arenas. Recognized among the most influential Latinos in the country, Maria is a Principal at the Dewey Square Group (DSG), the founder of Latinovations, and a CNN/CNN en Español Political Contributor. As the head of DSG’s Public Affairs Practice, she combines public policy, communications, coalition building, constituency outreach, government relations, traditional and new media at this premier national public affairs firm. Prior to signing on exclusively with CNN, Maria was a frequent political commentator on MSNBC, Fox, Univision and Telemundo, appearing as a public policy expert and providing political analysis on all manner of national issues. Cardona was also senior vice president for the New Democrat Network, and before that, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee. During the Clinton administration, Cardona served as chief spokesperson at the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the U.S. Department of Justice after serving as Press Secretary for the Department of Commerce.
Barbara N. Grossman is a Boston-based philanthropist. She is the past Chair of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the Trinity Hospice, and Goddard House. Other board memberships have included Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Sherrill House, The Park School, Citizens United for Charter School, and The Squam Lakes Conservation Society. Barbara is currently an Overseer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Heather Podesta is founder and principal of Heather Podesta + Partners, a cutting-edge government relations firm based in Washington, D.C. Ms. Podesta is a leading legislative and public policy strategist with experience on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. Ms. Podesta has guided clients from Fortune 500 companies to non-profits to success in Congress and the Executive Branch. Providing common-sense advice on issues ranging from education, health care, and technology to tax and trade policy, her work has been highlighted in several major media outlets, with profiles in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Legal Times recognized her as one of the Top 10 “Leading Lawyers in Government Affairs.” Ms. Podesta previously worked for several U.S. Members of Congress on the tax writing committees, including the late Representative Robert Matsui (D-CA), Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), and Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ). She also served as Assistant General Counsel at the Air Transport Association and General Counsel at the Airlines Clearing House. Ms. Podesta is a Trustee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, serves on the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Advisory Board of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, sits on the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, is a member of the Board of Trustees of Ford’s Theater, and is on the Washington DC Police Foundation Board.
Kathleen Tait previously served on the Executive Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, during a time of explosive growth for the organization. Ms. Tait is currently a full-time parent, prior to becoming a mother, she was a Vice President and Co-Portfolio Manager of a growth equity fund with over $1 billion in assets under management. While at J.P. Morgan, she worked on the firm-wide Diversity Task Force, which resulted in policies that helped to retain women and minority employees. Under the Clinton Administration, Ms. Tait was a Special Assistant to Earle G. Graves, a member of the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission. Ms. Tait is a Board Member of the Retreat, a women and children’s shelter on the East End of Long Island. She is a fundraiser for Jack and Jill of America, Metropolitan Chapter and Village Community School.