Kirby, Doug

Dr. Douglas Kirby

Douglas Bernard Kirby, PhD, was a senior research scientist at ETR Associates and a pillar in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Dr. Kirby received his PhD in Sociology from UCLA in 1975. He was one of the world’s leading experts on school and community programs to reduce sexual risk taking, and dedicated his career to promoting sexual and reproductive health among young people through his writing, teaching, and research. He authored over 150 articles, chapters and monographs on these programs, and frequently spoke nationally and internationally on his work. He served as a scientific adviser to the CDC, USAID, WHO, UNFPA, UNESCO, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Dr. Kirby died of a heart attack in December 2012, at age 69, while mountain climbing in Ecuador. His legacy continues to inform and transform the field.

Dr. Kirby’s career started in 1977 at Mathtech, Inc., as Director for the Social Science Group. In the early 1980s, Dr. Kirby completed a seminal study on the impact of school-based health centers while working at The Center for Population Options (now Advocates for Youth). Dr. Kirby joined ETR Associates in 1988 and continued his work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Kirby was involved in the creation and/or evaluation of numerous sex and HIV education curricula including Reducing the Risk, Safer Choices, and Draw the Line/Respect the Line, among others. He authored several encyclopedic reviews of the scientific literature, such as Emerging Answers 2007, which summarized the literature on adolescent sexual behavior and HIV/STD/pregnancy prevention programs. This work facilitated access to scientific research and paved a pathway for progress toward more effective prevention programs. More recently, Dr. Kirby worked with colleagues to create Promoting Sexual Health, a program that focuses on STD and pregnancy prevention among young adults and features the promotion of healthy sexual relationships. He also authored a theoretical guidebook, Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk, on how to develop and adapt sexuality education curricula.

Dr. Kirby’s latest work focused on helping countries ravaged by HIV to strengthen their prevention education efforts through developing more impactful educational programs. Over the past year, Dr. Kirby delivered trainings for Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health and non-governmental organizations from over a dozen southern and eastern African countries on designing effective programs.

Dr. Kirby was a passionate professional who was incredibly generous with his time—answering inquiries from research colleagues, policy-makers, and students with thought and depth. He relished the opportunity to explore scientific issues, and continuously pondered and tackled complexities of the field. Doug was also a caring human being who took personal interest in those he met. He loved a good conversation and took the time to build relationships, show concern, and share his support no matter how overwhelmed or busy he was in his professional life.

One of Dr. Kirby’s goals in life was to help make the world a better place—he achieved that goal and more. Dr. Douglas Kirby will always hold a position of influence in the field of sexual and reproductive health and will continue to serve as an inspiration to others in the field for years to come. In his honor, ETR has established the Kirby Summer Internship, for graduate students in education, psychology, sociology, public health, epidemiology or a related field, with a focus or interest in sexual and reproductive health. ETR also launched the Kirby Summit, a gathering that focuses on the application of a particular area of emerging or ongoing research to the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Doug was a pioneer in the field of sex education, both in the United States and internationally, identifying the key features of good quality, effective education and raising important questions about the limitations of other approaches…. He is sadly missed by all who worked with him or knew his work, but leaves the field of sex education a richer place as the result of his enthusiasm, dedication and scholarship.


Dreger, Alice

Alice Dreger is an historian of medicine and science, a sex researcher, a mainstream writer, and an (im)patient advocate. An award-winning scholar and writer, Dreger’s latest major book is Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice, which argues that the pursuit of evidence is the most important ethical imperative of our time.

Funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship and published by Penguin Press in 2015, Galileo’s Middle Finger has been praised in reviews in The New Yorker, Nature, Science, Forbes, New York Magazine, Human Nature, and Salon. It was named an “Editor’s Choice” by The New York Times Book Review and has been recommended by Steve Pinker, Dan Savage, Jared Diamond, and E.O. Wilson (read more). The Chronicle of Higher Education has called Dreger a “star scholar” and describes her writing as “reliably funny and passionate and vulnerable.”

Dreger earned her PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University in 1995, where her work was supported by a Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Since then, she has embodied the notion of the public intellectual, simultaneously publishing widely-cited major original work in scholarly journals and high-visibility essays in the mainstream press. She has served as a regular writer for the health sections of The Atlantic and Pacific Standard and for the blog of Psychology Today, and her op-eds have appeared in numerous other venues, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, WIRED, Slate, The LA Times, The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Statesman.

Dreger’s writing has been selected for Norton’s annual Best Creative Non-Fiction volume, and the UTNE Reader has named her a “visionary.” She frequently delivers keynotes and plenaries, and to date has given about 200 invited lectures. The American Philosophical Association considers her a philosopher of note in the “writing” category, and John Green has named her book One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal as among his favorites. The same book has been praised by Jeffrey Eugenides and Abraham Verghese.

In the spring of 2015, Dreger’s live-tweeting of her son’s high school sex-ed class sparked an international discussion of abstinence-based education and has led to her new book for parents, The Talk: Helping Your Kids Navigate Sex in the Real World. (Read an excerpt at Pacific Standard.) She is a recipient of an Outstanding Leadership Award in Comprehensive Sexuality Education from SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, Advocates for Youth, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), and the Healthy Teen Network.

Besides functioning as an historian and writer, in the medical world Dreger has served as a patient advocate and as a consultant to pediatric specialists undertaking clinical reform, particularly in the treatment of children born with norm-challenging body types, including intersex, conjoined twinning, facial anomalies, and short stature.

Founding Board Chair of the Intersex Society of North America, she also served as an ethics consultant to an NIH-funded Translational Research Network on pediatric intersex care and co-edited a medical education guide on LGBT and Differences of Sex Development (DSD) for the Association of American Medical Colleges. She has been on the faculty of several major universities, including most recently (2005-2015) as a full professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She resigned that position following censorship by her dean.

Dreger’s TEDx lecture, “Is Anatomy Destiny,” has been viewed about a million times, and she has appeared as a guest expert on hundreds of media programs, including on Oprah, Savage Love, Good Morning America, and NPR, and in many original documentaries, including for A&E, ABC, Discovery, PBS, and HBO.

A native of New York, she now lives in East Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, teenage son, and a pet rat named Darling. She is the founder, board president, and publisher of East Lansing Info, a nonprofit, citizen-journalist local online news organization that, since being founded in 2014, has produced almost one thousand original reports by over sixty citizen reporters. Her hobbies include canoeing, running, weeding, swimming in open water, and trying reliably to cross the clarinet break.
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Feb 27, 2015
Why Isn’t Sex Education a Part of Common Core?

By Alice Dreger
How many times do we have to teach kids to put condoms on bananas before we get to the important stuff? (Photo: Tomnamon/Shutterstock)

According to a recent PublicMind poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University, 44 percent of Americans believe that sex education is part of the Common Core curriculum. It’s not. The Common Core — national standards aimed at creating better-educated high school graduates — actually covers only mathematics and “language arts,” or what we used to call English.

But why doesn’t the Common Core have a sex ed component? After graduation, more of us are likely to go on to have sex than to engage in algebraic equations or close readings of poetry.

Yeah, I know: Many parents don’t like the idea of other people deciding what their kids will know about sex. Many don’t even like the idea of other people deciding what their kids will know about subtraction.

Still, given that, on average, sex will matter to one’s life about as much as how one uses grammar, one would think we’d have some nationally organized approach to ensure that the basics of sex are covered in public schools.

I can’t believe that after all of the “rape culture” conversations going on, my son’s formal sex ed still seems to have no discussion about consent.

My son is now a freshman in a progressive public high school, and even there what I’d like to see covered isn’t. Most of his public school sex ed seems to consist of warnings about pregnancy and disease, combined with endless lessons about how to put on a condom.

Look, I think it’s fine to teach a kid how to put on a condom correctly. But it is not something you have to teach every year, is it? These are kids who have been successfully putting on their socks for over a decade. Condoms aren’t that different. Granted, a hole in your sock isn’t as risky as a hole in a condom — even this winter, even in Boston — but the time spent on condom usage demonstrations might instead be spent on broader sex ed.

Like what?

Well, I’d start with a really thorough education about parts. I would like to see kids presented with plastic models of roughly average male and female genitalia, complete with plastic pubic hair, so they could see in 3-D what “real” genitals sometimes look like.

This seems especially important where female sex anatomy is concerned. This business of only ever presenting the female sex anatomy as a cut-away side view does not actually tell kids what they will see if they find themselves facing a pudendum. I think it is objectively true that the world would be better off if everybody knew where the clitoris is, and that it isn’t inside the vagina.

Then I would like to see kids taught about genital variation — about how phallic size varies considerably in males and females, as does scrotal size, labial size, genital skin color, shape of organs, etc. Same with breast development, Adam’s apples, facial and body hair, etc.

From there I would move on to what the bit of data we have tells us: Genital size may matter to your career if you are a porn star or if you’re expected to work naked in a job involving pinch-hazard machinery, but it won’t matter that much to your ability to have pleasure from your parts. Most people’s natural parts feel good to them.

Pleasure! Right, let’s talk about that. Could we please frankly explain to children why it is that more of us will be into sex than iambic pentameter verse? Could we unpack why the use of iambic pentameter — like so many other pastimes in life — is actually about getting laid? Face it: It’s not because we want to make babies, but because our evolution has left us programmed to enjoy what might lead to babies (if it weren’t for socks). We are made to want pleasure because the species survives through the pleasure urge.

If I’ve seen anything result from my son’s sex education, it’s a growing and reasonable opinion on his part that most adults don’t tell the real truth about sex, so there’s no point in asking them.

But wait, not everybody feels the urge to cross-sex couple? Great — let’s also talk about that! Why do some people feel the urge to have sex with people with similar parts? Here we could explore some of the possible reasons. But ultimately I think this would be a great entry into a discussion of who cares who you want to have sex with? It’s about consent, stupid.

Consent. I can’t believe that after all of the “rape culture” conversations going on, my son’s formal sex ed still seems to have no discussion about consent: What does it look like, how do you know you have it from your potential lover, who is not capable of consent, how do you clearly signal that you are not giving it or you are withdrawing it? Personally, I’d love it if children explicitly were taught “no” as their first safe word. (They can move on to “cacao” when they are grown-ups.)

What else? OK, I realize that I’m risking my chance of ever becoming surgeon general in saying this, but it sure seems like kids should be taught that masturbation is common, normal, and, if you are not too extreme with your methods, harmless. I’m not suggesting we provide instruction in methodology, but we could go a long way with a little bit of honesty about how many of us twiddle ourselves, and it doesn’t make us go blind or be unable to do division.

And then, of course, we should cover disease and pregnancy prevention — but maybe after the rest of this, after kids feel like we’re being up front with them about the important basics. That way they trust us. If I’ve seen anything result from my son’s sex education, it’s a growing and reasonable opinion on his part that most adults don’t tell the real truth about sex, so there’s no point in asking them. (He could ask his mother, but he knows that then she won’t shut up.)

I’m sure there are some people who will flip out at this proposal. (Paging Rush Limbaugh.) They will say that talking to kids about sex like this will be like engaging them in sex. I actually think there is something to that — that thinking and talking about sex awakens the part of our brain that is sexual. But we have good reason to believe teenagers will think about sex, and (gasp!) engage in sex, whether or not we adults can bring ourselves to talk about it.

Sex is, after all, the ultimate common core of humanity. So maybe it’s time to recognize it in the Common Core.

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Advocates for Youth

Advocates for Youth is the only organization that works both in the United States and in developing countries with a sole focus on adolescent reproductive and sexual health.

In the previous fiscal year, Advocates worked with over 28,000 health care providers, educators, and other youth-serving professionals, directly and indirectly strengthening the ability of more than nine and a half million youth to make informed, responsible decisions about their sexual health. Advocates’ programs and initiatives are key to its success and include:

1 in 3 Campaign
Adolescent Contraceptive Access Initiative
South Carolina Emergency Contraception Initiative
Cultural Advocacy and Mobilization Initiative
Future of Sex Education (FoSE)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (GLBTQ) Youth Initiative
Anti-Homophobia/Transphobia Project
HIV/STI Prevention Programs
International Initiatives
Let’s Talk About Sex
Public Policy Initiatives
Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® Campaign
School Health Equity
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative
Young Women of Color Initiative
Youth Activist Network
1 in 3 Campaign Campus Organizers
Campus Organizers
International Youth Leadership Council
State Activists
Young Women of Color Leadership Council
YouthResource Youth Leadership Program
Youth of Color Initiative
The Muslim Youth Project

Web Sites We Offer – information on adolescent reproductive and sexual health, and resources for professionals – a youth-driven community working for change
The 1 in 3 Campaign – a project to end abortion stigma and ensure abortion access
The YouthResource tumblr
Shades of Roise – a campaign by the Young Women of Color Leadershipcouncil to highlight the work and achievements of women of color in the reproductive and sexual health and rights field

Board of Directors

Robin Brand

Jamila B. Perritt, MD, MPH
Vice Chair
Kirin Gupta

Garrett Mize, JD

Kathleen Adams

Carly Manes
Deborah Arrindell, MPH

Adrian Nava
Glennia R. Campbell, JD

Suzanne Petroni, PhD
Linara J. Davidson

Hector Sanchez-Flores
Daniel P. Dozier, V

Judy Senderowitz
Shereen El Feki, PhD

Fred Sherman, CPA
Robin Elliott

Monica Raye Simpson
Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH

Heather Smith
Kimberly Hoover, JD

Valerie Tarico, PhD
Miriam “Mimi” Madrid

Debra Hauser, MPH

Advocates For Youth

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Meet the Advocates Team

Advocates’ staff is a vibrant and diverse team of youth-serving professionals and youth activists. Staff come from a variety of backgrounds, including public health, law, social work, political science, international affairs, sociology, finance/administration and research, and are dedicated to improving adolescent reproductive and sexual health, securing young people’s rights, and realizing the Rights. Respect.Responsibility.® vision.
Management Team

Debra Hauser

Deb Hauser has been with Advocates for Youth for 23 years, first as Director of the Support Center for School-based Health Care, then as Executive Vice President. In January 2012, Deb became the organization’s fourth President and Executive Director, representing Advocates with the media, funders and colleague organizations and speaking nationally and internationally about young people’s rights to honest sexual health information, confidential sexual health services and equitable social and economic opportunities. She has been at the center of numerous innovations in the field of adolescent sexual health, including: co-founding the Future of Sex Education-an initiative producing the first-ever National Sexuality Education Standards; designing an innovative HIV/AIDS prevention and testing-to-treatment program on Historically Black Colleges and Universities; expanding the Great American Condom Campaign into a ground-breaking effort to normalize condom use on more than 1,000 college campuses across the U.S.; and helping to build the infrastructure of the LGBT youth movement in the Global South. Deb is committed to a cascading style of leadership that promotes youth activists as change agents and leaders in the field.

Before coming to Advocates, Deb served as Director of Community Health Services for the City of Atlantic City where she designed, implemented, and evaluated sexuality education, HIV prevention, health promotion, teen pregnancy prevention, and teen parenting programs. Early in her career, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, implementing child spacing, oral re-hydration, and childhood immunization programs. Deb serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Sexual Health Association and is a member of the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment. She is proficient in Spanish and holds a Masters of Public Health in Population Planning and International Health from the University of Michigan.

Kathleen Farrell
Vice President, Finance and Administration

Kathleen Farrell, Vice President of Finance and Administration, oversees the organization’s financial management/controls. She prepares the organizational budget, works with program staff to develop proposals and financial reports for Advocates’ funders, and works closely with the Board of Directors’ Finance and Audit Committees. She has spent the vast majority of her career working in various program and management capacities for Advocates for Youth. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the College of William and Mary.

Aimee Thorne-Thomsen
Vice President for Strategic Partnerships

Aimée is the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Advocates for Youth, where she oversees and coordinates the development, implementation, and evaluation of Advocates’ strategic partnerships with youth activists and colleague organizations in allied social justice movements. She also oversees the Youth Organizing and Mobilization Team and the Policy Team. Prior to joining the staff at Advocates, she served as the Interim Executive Director for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Executive Director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). She sits on the Board of Directors for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote and on the COMS Project Advisory Committee and the Oral Contraceptives Over The Counter (OCs OTC) Working Group Steering Committee. Aimee was previously a Public Voices Fellow with the Op-ed Project. She has spoken around the country at venues including the NOW National Conference, Netroots Nation, Center for American Progress, and Facing Race, and her writing and blogs have appeared on Women’s e-News, Daily Kos, Feministing, Feministe, and Rewire among others. Aimée earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.

Jennifer Augustine
Vice President, Organizational Development
Division Director, Health and Social Equity

Jennifer Augustine is the Director of the HIV/STI Prevention Division at Advocates for Youth. She oversees the provision of technical assistance and training to national and community-based organizations serving high-risk youth. Jennifer has 14 years of experience in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. She received a Master’s in Public Health from the George Washington University and is a certified health education specialist.

Eleanor Allen
Associate Director of Foundation Relations

Eleanor has an extensive background as a strategic researcher and versatile writer for high-profile campaigns and national nonprofit organizations, along with a proven track record in foundation relations and grants management. She is responsible for contributing to the success of Advocates for Youth’s development program raising approximately $6.5M annually, including foundation strategy, prospect identification, proposal development, grant reporting and grants administration. Eleanor previously coordinated all aspects of foundation relationships, including drafting successful grant documents, for the National Partnership for Women & Families, a well-respected advocacy organization with a complex policy portfolio and having an annual budget of $8 million. She received her BA from Syracuse University and her JD from American University’s Washington College of Law. She serves on the community advisory board of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting Program (TAPP) in Washington D.C.

Lauren Ainsworth
Manager, Program Coordinator, School Health Equity

Lauren works in part with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health’s (DASH), Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance cooperative agreement. She is in charge of assisting 18 state education agencies (SEAs) through providing technical assistance including; developing resources, facilitating training, as well as issuing monthly newsletters and informational mailings. In addition, she provides capacity building assistance, (CBA) to the SEAs in their efforts to support design, implementation and monitoring of exemplary sexual health education and HIV/STI prevention programs with their school districts and professional development (PD) strategies. Lauren earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Green Mountain College and previously volunteered at Boston Medical Center where she worked with families, youth and children to provide them with access to a variety of health and education resources. Lauren is continuing her education at American University working on her M.A. in Public Anthropology.

Urooj Arshad
Associate Director, International Youth Health and Rights

Urooj Arshad is the Associate director of International Youth Health and Rights at Advocates for Youth. She manages a project of the International Division that builds the capacity of youth-driven organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to empower young people as strong advocates within their own countries and at international forums on reproductive and sexual health and rights of youth, especially young women and LGBTQ youth. She has also designed a project that seeks to address the reproductive and sexual health needs of Muslim-identified youth.

Previously, Urooj provided capacity-building services to community-based organizations working with youth of color around reproductive and sexual health. Urooj has presented about her work at several domestic and international conferences, including the International HIV/AIDS Conference 2010 in Vienna, Austria; the Youth Pre-conference to the International HIV/AIDS Conference 2012 in Washington, DC; International HIV/AIDS Conference 2014 in Melbourne; the European Science Foundation’s conference on Religion, Gender and Human Rights 2011 in Linkoping, Sweden; the LGBT Pride and Heritage Event hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the State Department; the National Press Club; Georgetown University and Princeton. Urooj was also the keynote speaker at the LGBTQ Symposium 2013 at American University.

Urooj has had seventeen years of experience organizing within LGBTQ communities of color, especially addressing issues of Islamophobia, violence, sexism, transphobia, and ageism. Urooj has been a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and its Faith and Reproductive Justice Institute. Urooj has been a fellow with the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and a current member of the Kalamazoo College Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership’s global advisory board and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice’s board of directors.

Urooj is the recipient of several awards including the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance’s 2012 NQAPIA Community Catalyst Award and the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition’s We Speak award. Urooj was selected to serve on the U.S delegation to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Ashley Benson
Program Administrator

Ashley Benson is a program administrator for Advocates for Youth and works within both the Health & Social Equity and Sexual Education & Training departments. Prior to joining Advocates she was a conference coordinator for the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. where she spent three and a half years gaining project management experience. Ashley holds a MS in Applied Psychology and a graduate certificate in Human Resource Management from Sacred Heart University. While earning her degree she was awarded membership to Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology in recognition of her academic performance.

Emily Bridges
Division Director, Communications

Emily Bridges oversees Advocates’ innovative and dynamic communications strategy, including a wide array of social media properties and groundbreaking online activism campaigns. Emily manages the content of Advocates’ web sites, including and, finalizes materials for publication, develops fact sheets and other educational materials, and assists staff, Advocates’ partners, and the public with research. Emily has a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Maryland and a BA in English from Towson University. She has been with Advocates since 2006.

Ariel Cerrud
Senior Manager, International Policy

Ariel Cerrud is the Senior Manager of International Policy at Advocates for Youth. For the past ten years, Ariel has been an advocate, trainer and educator of young people. Ariel’s advocacy work has been in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights and youth leadership development with an emphasis on working in partnership with young leaders, particularly young women and girls and LGBT youth at the global level. As a member of Advocates’ International Youth Health and Rights and Policy Departments, Ariel manages Advocates’ international policy portfolio and is responsible for advancing Advocates’ global and US foreign policy priorities through lobbing, coalition work, and engagement of Advocate’s Youth Advocacy Network. A former Board member of Advocates for Youth and Peer Educator of its YouthResource initiative, Ariel was born in Panama and raised in Portland, Oregon where he received his BA in Political Science from Portland State University.

Nicole Cheetham
Director, International Youth Health and Rights Division

Nicole Cheetham has over 20 years of experience working in international public health and oversees Advocates’ international programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Nicole also provides technical assistance and training to partner organizations in sub-Saharan Africa in support of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights program design and implementation. Core areas of expertise include youth-led advocacy, community mobilization, peer education, youth-friendly services, and parent-child communication. Nicole leads Advocates’ international efforts on sexuality education, with expertise in training, instructional design, and curriculum review and has recently worked with UNESCO and UNFPA to develop and pre-test a teacher training module for use in East and Southern Africa. Nicole holds a Masters of Health Sciences in International Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of American Sexuality Education, and is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Nimra Chowdhry
Law & Policy Fellow/Analyst

Nimra Chowdhry is Advocates for Youth’s Law & Policy Fellow/Analyst where her work focuses primarily on federal policy. She is a Senior Fellow with the If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program. She holds a law degree and a master’s certificate in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Houston. Prior to her work at Advocates, Nimra was an If/When/How Reproductive Justice Fellow at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum where her work focused on local, state, and national policy advocacy advancing the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls. During law school, Nimra worked with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Harris County District Attorney’s office, and as a Public Policy fellow at the Greater Houston Partnership where she worked on Texas State legislation promoting full-day preschool for low-income families. Nimra earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Government and Women and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.

Rachel Cooke
Associate Director of Communications

Rachel works directly with the media to add the voice of young people in the conversation about adolescent reproductive sexual health; promotes the organization, its programs and campaigns; leads media trainings; and engages external audiences with Advocates’ various social media properties. A native Washingtonian, Rachel graduated from The George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Communications. Prior to joining Advocates she was a Senior Account Executive at GolinHarris, a global PR agency, was the Communications Assistant at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and worked at Strauss Radio Strategies and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Edward Corporal
Web Content Coordinator

Edward Corporal is the Web Content Coordinator at Advocates for Youth. He oversees the entire web properties including outreach campaigns, ensuring that all information is accurate and up-to-date. He also works with the Communications team to prioritize needs and coordinates web projects across departments. Prior to joining the organization, Edward graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies at Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts college for the deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Washington, D.C.

Laura Davis
Division Director, Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Adolescent Sexual Health Services

Laura Davis is Director of Adolescent Sexual Health Services at Advocates for Youth. She has both international and domestic experience, including more than twenty years of program planning, teaching, training, and organizational development in the field of reproductive and sexual health. She is the former manager of a mall-based family planning clinic for teens and has worked as a consultant with International Planned Parenthood Federation and the United States Agency for International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is the co-author (with Dr. Claire Brindis and Susan Pagliaro) of Communities Responding to the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (Advocates for Youth, 1998) and Protection as Prevention: Contraception for Sexually Active Teens (National Campaign, 2000).

Yvonne Gaither
Associate Director, Finance and Administration

Yvonne Gaither has been Advocates for Youth’s Office Administrator since 1994. Yvonne has over 14 years of corporate bookkeeping and accounting experience and has worked with nonprofits for over 19 years. Yvonne has also participated in volunteer work at D.C. General Hospital and Columbia Hospital for Women.

Nora Gelperin
Director of Sexuality Education and Training

Nora Gelperin, M.Ed. is the Director of Sexuality Education and Training at Advocates for Youth. Nora is one of the co-authors of Advocates’ Rights, Respect, Responsibility: A K-12 Sexuality Education curriculum, which was released in January 2016, and used worldwide. Nora is one of the national technical assistance providers on the Working to Institutionalize Sex Ed (WISE) initiative, has been a member of the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) initiative and was part of the core team that developed the National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills K-12 (2011) and National Teacher Preparation Standards for Sexuality Education, (Journal of School Health, 2014). She has more than twenty years of experience providing sexuality education to youth and professional development to education professionals. Prior to joining Advocates she was the Director of Training at Answer where she founded the Training Institute in Sexual Health Education (TISHE) and Answer’s online professional development workshops. She was a community educator with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey. Nora holds a Masters in School Health Education from Temple University and was awarded a Mary Lee Tatum Award from Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE). Nora has also been named a 2014 Fellow of the American School Health Association.

Rana Holland
Executive Secretary

Rana Holland has been at Advocates for Youth since July 1987. After nine months on the front desk, she became the Executive Secretary. Until 1992, she worked for Judith Senderowitz, our founding Executive Director/President who currently serves on the Board of Directors. She also worked for the two executive director/presidents who served between Judy and our current CEO, Debra Hauser.

Mahroh Jahangiri
Manager, Know Your IX

Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led organization that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools.

Tonya Katcher
Program Manager of Clinical Services and Contraceptive Access

Tonya brings a breadth of clinical experience and public health background to her role as Advocates for Youth’s Program Manager of Clinical Services and Contraceptive access. She works to improve reproductive health services for young people and eliminate the barriers they face in obtaining contraception and avoiding unintended pregnancy. She is a strong advocate for development of care models that allow young people to access contraception in non-clinical settings, as well as the importance of creating equity in young people’s access to the full range of available methods, including long-acting reversible contraceptives. In addition to her work at Advocates for Youth, Tonya is a pediatrician who practices adolescent medicine in a teen clinic and at a local school-based health center. Her ongoing clinical work keeps her grounded in the every day experiences of young people, which informs all of the work that she does. Tonya earned her MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she also completed a residency in pediatrics. In addition, she received a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Tonya serves on the DC Adolescent Health Working Group, Children’s National Medical Center’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, and the Advocacy Committee for the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine.

Sophia Kerby
Manager, State Policy and Partnerships

Sophia Kerby is the State Policy & Partnerships Manager at Advocates for Youth. She works with local and state-based organizations and youth activists across the country to advocate for cultural and policy changes that improve and value young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Prior to Advocates, she was the Policy Associate at the Brennan Center, where she worked on racial and criminal justice advocacy and reform, voting rights, and ex-felon enfranchisement. Sophia is originally from New York and holds a B.A in Government and Politics from University of Maryland-College Park.

Lamont King
Administrative Assistant

J. L.
Director, Information Technology

J. has worked in the information technology field for more than a decade and has been Manager of Information Technology at Advocates for Youth since 2006.

Rachel Margolis
Graphic Designer

Brittany McBride
Senior Program Manager, Sexuality Education

Brittany McBride is the Senior Program Manager, Sexuality Education at Advocates for Youth. She is responsible for partnering with national education organizations/associations and implementing collaborative strategies to provide resources, TA and training to support implementation of sexuality health education across the country. Prior to joining the Advocates team, Brittany managed multiple teen pregnancy prevention programs funded by the Office of Adolescent Health in the state of Louisiana. Brittany also served as a curriculum consultant for the charter management organization Firstline Schools. She graduated from Tulane SPHTM with a Master’s in Public Health and earned a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Xavier University of LA.

Abbey Marr
State Policy Analyst

Abbey Marr is Advocates for Youth’s State Policy Analyst. She works to advance state reproductive and sexual health policy, focusing on the ability of young people to access and consent to the full range of reproductive health care services. She graduated in 2009 from George Washington University with a degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies and is a 2014 graduate of Harvard Law School, where she helped campaign for, develop, and teach Harvard’s Reproductive Justice course. During Law school, Abbey worked with the ACLU, the National Domestic Worker’s Alliance, and Legal Voice, and she spent her third year at Berkeley Law assisting the drafting of Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, the first casebook of its kind. Between college and law school, Abbey worked for the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in the Educational Opportunities Section. Outside of work, Abbey is a case manager and volunteer mentor for the DC Abortion Fund, and she previously sat on the If/When/How Board of Directors.

Paris L. A. Moore
Development Director

Paris is the Development Director at Advocates for Youth, where she oversees Advocates’ robust fundraising programs and is responsible for expanding the organization’s philanthropic efforts and opportunities that will further Advocates’ capacity to fulfill its mission. Her role includes developing funding strategies, cultivating and soliciting funding commitments (foundation, corporate, government and individual) to support Advocates’ programs, activities and initiatives.

Brining almost 20 years of experience, in the field of health-related fundraising to Advocates, Paris has had tenures at notable non-profit organizations such as the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and most recently the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR).

Paris holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University.

Louis Ortiz-Fonseca
Senior Program Manager for LGBTQ Health and Rights

Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca is an award winning HIV activist and artist. For over 20 years, he has worked with influential nationally recognized agencies and has been an integral part of HIV prevention and youth development programming in Philadelphia. Since graduating from Lincoln University with a Master’s Degree in Human Services and Organizational Development in 2009, he has been committed to working with grassroots queer agencies of color to strengthen their work with Latino gay men. He is the 2015 winner of the Hispanic Choice Awards for Creative Artist of the Year for his storytelling project The Gran Varones. Louie is currently the Senior Program Manager of LGBT Health & Rights at Advocates for Youth, where he oversees a multi-city project working school districts to provided intentional and effective HIV Prevention to Black and Latino young men who have sex with men.

Amber Phillips
Senior Manager, Youth Leadership and Mobilization

Julia Reticker-Flynn
Director, Youth Organizing & Mobilization

Julia Reticker-Flynn is the Youth Activist Network Manager at Advocates for Youth, where she works with young people across the country to advocate for cultural and policy change that supports young people’s sexual health and rights. Since starting at Advocates in 2010 she has trained over one thousand young people on grassroots organizing skills, mobilized thousands to take action on federal policy initiatives to protect young people’s sexual health and rights, and launched the 1 in 3 campaign to destigmatize abortion and promote access to abortion services. Julia sits on the Board of Directors of Nursing Students for Choice. She graduated from Georgetown University Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service and certificate in Justice and Peace Studies.

Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes
Director, Public Policy

Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes is the Director of Public Policy, where she oversees Advocates’ international, federal and state policy strategy and advocacy efforts on a wide range of reproductive and sexual health/rights/justice issues that affect young people. Since being at Advocates, she has managed the Cultural Advocacy and Mobilization Initiative (CAMI) where she assisted state partners and youth activists in building advocacy strategies and passing proactive sex education policies, including in Colorado and Broward County, Florida; provided policy technical assistance to over 25 state partner organizations and coalitions; as well as leading federal policy work, including direct lobbying and education efforts on the Hill and with the Administration. Her expertise and work at Advocates continues to be working with coalitions, advocates and youth activists on policy analysis, policy advocacy strategy, grassroots campaigns, and youth/adult partnerships. She currently sits as co-chair of the Federal Sex Ed Coalition and serves on the Steering Committee for Take Root: Reproductive Justice in Red States. Diana has been working in social justice movements for nearly a decade – with both grassroots and grasstops stakeholders – primarily around issues that affect women, young people, communities of color, and the LGTBQ community. Prior to Advocates, Diana worked for the Center for Women Policy Studies, working directly with women state legislators and Members of Parliament, facilitating strategic planning sessions and providing policy technical assistance on women’s human rights. Her passions lie in facilitating and creating intentional spaces for not only social justice, but also for creativity and radical self-expression. She holds an M.A. from George Washington University in Public Policy with a concentration in Women’s Studies, as well as a B.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Sociology and Women’s Studies.

Mary Beth Szydlowski
Senior Program Manager, School Health Equity

Mary Beth manages the School Health Equity Project within the department of Health and Social Equity. Her charge is to assist 19 State Education Agencies (SEAs), funded under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1308 cooperative agreement Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance, to increase the provision of sexual health education within priority school districts and across their states. Mary Beth provides technical assistance and capacity building assistance to the 19 SEAs to support the identification and implementation of sexual health education curriculum, provision of professional development to teachers and increasing awareness and justification of sexual health education policies to school districts throughout their state. Mary Beth also facilitates the All Students Count Coalition whose focus is to improve LGBTQ inclusion on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in states and municipalities across the country. In which in 2014 the sexual orientation questions were moved to the core questionnaire. With over 10 years of experience working in the educational setting at the school or district level, Mary Beth’s passion is to ensure the provision of education to youth so they can make informed healthy decisions and provide adults with the training and skill development necessary to assist youth with this process. A Chicago native, while working for Chicago Public Schools, she was instrumental in passing the comprehensive Sexual Health Education policy, development of K-12 sexual health education curriculum aligned with the National Sexuality Education Standards, lead trainer for providing sex ed professional development and building collaborative partnerships. Mary Beth has a B.S in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and a MPH in Community Health Practice from DePaul University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Wesley Thomas
Program Coordinator, LGBTQ Health and Rights

Wesley Thomas is the Program Coordinator for LGBTQ Health and Rights. He assists the Health and Social Equity department to increase the capacity of targeted local education agencies and community based partners to improve their programs, policies, and environments to meet the needs of young men of color who have sex with men. He supports and coordinates the Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Project, as well as oversees the mobilization and training for YouthResource, Advocates’ youth leadership program for LGBTQ youth. Wesley currently holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Temple University. A Philadelphia native, he did previous work with community based organizations conducting HIV testing and counseling for gay men of color. He also facilitated educational programs that included topics around HIV/STI, prevention techniques, stigma in the gay black community, as well as contraception and teen pregnancy.

Shomya Tripathy
Youth Activist Network Manager

Shomya Tripathy plays a major role coordinating the Campus Organizing Team and the 1 in 3 Campaign student activists. Prior to working at Advocates, Shomya worked at the New Organizing Institute as the Senior Organizer in Chicago, running free trainings in the city to ensure that organizing skills were more accessible to women and communities of color. She also served as the Community Manager at STAND, a student-led organization to end genocide. Shomya graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Political Science and Black Studies.

Han Vu

Contact Emily Bridges, Division Director of Communications

a youth-driven communityworking for change

1 in 3 Camapign
a grassroots movement to start a new conversation about abortion

a youth-led grassroots movement to make the U.S. a sexually healthy nation

a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people

a collective of 14-24 year old activists working towards ensure reproductive freedom for all people
2000 M Street NW, Suite 750 | Washington, DC 20036 | P: 202.419.3420 | F: 202.419.1448

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