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Women's Rights Advocate Faye Wattleton Elected Newest Columbia Trustee

By Lauren Marshall

Faye Wattleton

Faye Wattleton, whose advocacy on behalf of women helped to define the national debate over reproductive rights and health and shape family planning policies and programs, has been elected a Trustee of Columbia University.

Wattleton, a former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is currently president and co-founder of the Center for Gender Equality, an independent research and educational institution, that advances equality for women.

She holds a master of science degree, with a certification as a nurse-midwife, from Columbia and has been awarded 12 honorary degrees. In addition to her induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993, Wattleton has received the American Humanist Award and the American Public Health Association's Award for Excellence and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Humanitarian Award, among other notable distinctions.

From 1978 to 1992, Wattleton guided the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation's oldest and largest voluntary reproductive health organization into the pro-choice battle, helping to preserve American women's fundamental right to self-determination.

When she left Planned Parenthood, the organization 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 50 states and had added Family Planning International Assistance offering planning programs in dozens of developing nations.

Business Week named her one of the best managers of non-profit organizations in America. Money magazine selected Wattleton as one of the five outstanding Americans to project the forces that will shape life in the year 2000. She has appeared in numerous national publications and on public affairs and news programs.

Wattleton attended Ohio State University at the age of 16 and received a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1964. She taught labor and delivery room nursing for two years before attending Columbia's graduate program in maternal health and infant health care on full scholarship.

Named one of the 100 most fascinating black women of the 20th-Century by Ebony magazine and voted one of the best female speakers in the United States by New Woman magazine, Wattleton is a celebrated lecturer on college campuses. She currently serves on the boards of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Bio-Technology General Corp., Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Quidel Corporation, the Eisenhower Fellowships, the Institute for International Education, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the United Nations Association of the United States of America.

Columbia has 24 Trustees, each serving a six-year term. Twelve are elected by the Trustees acting alone, six by the Trustees working with the executive committee of the University Senate, and six elected, one each year, after nomination by the University's alumni. Wattleton was elected as a Senate-consulted Trustee.

Published: Apr 04, 2002
Last modified:Sep 18, 2002

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