Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors list is in alphabetical order by last name.   Board officers are listed first, then board members.

Ninia Baehr
Treasurer

Ninia Baehr has worked for health and human rights for nearly three decades.  After having an abortion In Montana in the early 1980s, she published Abortion Without Apology:  A Radical History for the 1990s.  In 1991, she became the named plaintiff in Baehr v. Lewin, the historic Hawaii same-sex marriage case.  Since then, she has worked to provide medical, mental health, social and legal services to torture survivors seeking asylum, homeless women and children, and others facing barriers to health care and equal rights.  She holds a B.S. in Rural Sociology and an M.A. in Women’s History, and she is a registered nurse.  She has worked for numerous organizations dedicated to promoting women’s rights and health, including NYS-NARAL and the New York Legislative Task Force on Women’s Issues, and she completed a Revson Fellowship on Women and Public Policy.  Currently, Ninia serves as the LGBT Advocacy Coordinator at the ACLU of Monatana .

Charlea Massion
Secretary

Charlea Massion is a family physician who has worked in community clinics, Indian Health Service and now as a hospitalist (caring for hospitalized adolescents and adults in Santa Cruz, California).  For over 20 years, Charlea has co-taught a women’s health lecture series at Stanford University Medical School that introduces medical students to the psychological, social, political, cultural and spiritual aspects of women’s health.  Charlea is a co-founder and current President of the American College of Women’s Health Physicians.  Charlea began volunteering with NWHN several years before she was elected to the board.  She is a co-author of NWHN’s book, The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy, co-writer of the “Rx for Change” column in the NWHN newsletter, and was on the planning committee for the Women’s Health and Justice for All conference at UC Santa Cruz in March 2010.

Dara Mendez
Chair

Dara Mendez, M.P.H, Ph.D. is a Perinatal and Social Epidemiologist and visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health.  She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology Pre-Med from Spelman College and a M.P.H. and Ph.D. in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina-CH.  Her research and interests relate health inequities, reproductive health policy, environmental justice, and the effects of neighborhood context and social stress on pregnancy and birth.  While at Spelman, she was a founding member of the Feminist Major Leadership Alliance, and as a graduate student, she helped to found the Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism.  As a former Kellogg Health Postdoctoral Scholar, she conducted community-based intervention research related to doula services for pregnant women. She also has international public health experience in Jamaica, South Africa, and Kenya. 

Zipatly Mendoza
Administrative Vice Chair

Zipatly Mendoza is the Office Chief of the Arizona Health Disparities Center at the Arizona Department of Health Services, where she oversees programs that designed to foster systems of care for women.  Special projects include pre-conception health materials, promotion of multi-vitamin use by women of childbearing age, and incorporating information about healthy life choices into childcare programs.  As an undergraduate, Zipatly was a founding member of the first Domestic Violence Awareness Week.  This was a springboard to her work in power dynamics and gender equality which led to a two-year fellowship at the CDC.  Zipatly went on to earn an MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cheri Pies 
Action Vice Chair

Cheri Pies, MSW DrPH is on the faculty of the School of Public Health at U.C. Berkeley as a Lecturer and also serves as the Community Co-Director of the DrPH Program. Her professional interests include the implementation of the Life Course Perspective into the field of maternal and child health in practice, policy, and education/training; community capacity building for families through economic development strategies; development of longitudinal data systems; the use of photovoice in practice settings; women’s health and reproductive health issues; and parenting support for lesbian and gay families. She is a longtime supporter of the NWHN and proud to serve on the Board.

Dazon Dixon Diallo
Board Member 
 
Dazon Dizon Diallo, is the Founder/President of SisterLove, the first women’s HIV/AIDS organization in the southern US.  Dazon is a founding board member of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and chairs the steering committee of the Global Campaign for Microbicides.
 
Anu Manchikanti Gomez
Board Member 
 
Anu Manchikanti Gomez, MSc, PhD is a Research Scientist at the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University. She is a population health researcher with training in maternal and child health and demography. Over the past ten years, she has conducted research on violence, reproductive health and HIV in the US and abroad. Her work has consistently focused on reducing health disparities among disadvantaged populations, particularly youth, women, and racial and ethnic minorities. As a researcher, her overarching goal is to understand individual-, couple- and community-level influences on sexual risk behavior among young women and men and to develop multi-faceted interventions addressing these contextual factors. Anu received her doctorate in Maternal and Child Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010.
 

Priscilla Huang
Board Member

Priscilla Huang, JD, is the Policy Director for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Prior to APIAHF, Priscilla served as the policy and programs director at the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum where she oversaw the federal policy advocacy and government relations for their immigrant rights, anti-trafficking and reproductive justice programs. She has also worked with women and children in domestic violence and emergency homeless shelters. Priscilla was a Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy fellow, and served on the boards of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

Kira Jones
Board Member
 
Kira Jones, M.A., has over six years of experience working in women’s health and is a former NWHN intern. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s degree in Communication Studies. Kira’s academic research and activist writings have primarily focused on how the rhetoric of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month conditions women (and men) to a breast cancer discourse comprised of contradictory ideas about breast cancer detection, prevention, activism, and breast cancer as a disease. Kira works to expose the shortcomings of this hyper-feminine, mainstream approach to breast cancer by calling attention to the ways the discourse emphasizes personal responsibility over social context, obscuring the need for social justice, environmental protection, and collective responsibility to prevent and reduce the prevalence of the disease. In addition to her scholarship, Kira has worked with women’s health organizations across the country including NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of NOW, and Breast Cancer Action (BCA). She has also volunteered for Planned Parenthood Association of Utah/Planned Parenthood Action Council, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, and Women’s Voices for the Earth. Kira currently works as an Academic Advisor for the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah.
 

Laura Kaplan
Board member 

Laura Kaplan was a member of Jane, the Chicago Women’s Liberation underground abortion service. She was a founding member of the Emma Goldman Women’s Health Center in Chicago. In rural Wisconsin she co-founded the LaFarge Birth Group as a lay midwife, and co-founded a rural shelter-based program for battered women, serving as its first director. In New York State in the mid 80s, she was a community organizer for a coalition of nursing home residents and the 90s, Managed Care Project Director for Citizen Action of NY, working on policy to protect consumers in HMOs. She wrote The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service and several chapters and articles about Jane. She continues to lecture about Jane to community organizations and on campuses. 

Kara Loewentheil
Board Member 
 
Kara Loewentheil, JD, is an Associate in Law at Yale Law School, where she writes about family law, reproductive rights, sexual rights, and human rights. Prior to her fellowship at Yale, she was a Blackmun Legal Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in the United States Legal Program, for two years, where she litigated in state and federal court to challenge laws restricting reproductive rights around the country. Kara obtained her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and was a clerk for two years to the Honorable James L. Dennis on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before attending law school she worked as a media writer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In addition to her decade of advocacy in the reproductive rights and justice movements, Kara has also worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Kara is a past president of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice Board ("LSRJ") of Directors and currently serves on its alumni board.
 
Bindiya Patel
Board Member 
 

Bindiya Gillenwater Patel, M.P.A. is a Technical Officer for the Tuberculosis Team at the Program for Appropriate Technologies (PATH), based in Seattle.  Previously, she served as the Operations and Special Programs Officer of the Global Campaign for Microbicides, where she advocated for new HIV prevention options for women.  She has also helped manage a child nutrition program in the townships of Cape Town, worked as a grants officer in England, and monitored World Bank projects for a watchdog group in Washington, D.C. Bindiya holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University.  She is also the proud mom of two young feminists, Keya and Cimeren.

Mia Kim Sullivan
Board Member 
 
Mia Kim Sullivan is the Director of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) Program at Hampshire College, a national project that equips and inspires new generations of advocates to build a stronger and more diverse movement for reproductive justice and social change. Mia is a lawyer who previously worked for six years at civil rights and anti-poverty organizations, engaging in state and federal litigation, community organizing and education efforts, and policy advocacy. She received her undergraduate degree with honors from Princeton University and her law degree from New York University School of Law.  Mia is also on the the board of the Third Wave Foundation, the only national feminist fund dedicated to supporting the social justice work of young women and transgender youth.
 

Susan F. Wood
Board Member

Susan Wood served as Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health and Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Women's Health (OWH) from November 2000 through August 2005, when she resigned on principle due to the continued delay of approval of the emergency contraceptive, Plan B. She is now an Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.  Previously, Susan was the Director for Policy and Program Development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. From 1990 to 1995, Susan worked on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Susan was a research scientist at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Boston University Marine Program. She has published a number of research articles in scientific journals, as well as articles on health policy.

 

 

 

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