Faye Wattleton: Champion for women’s rights and health care

AJC Sepia Black History Month


Faye Wattleton set the bar high in the fight to improve women’s lives and access to health care.

From 1978 to 1992, Wattleton served as president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a major provider of medical and education services for millions of women.

By the time she left the organization, it had grown to become the nation’s seventh-largest nonprofit organization with an aggregate budget of $500 million and 170 affiliates in the United States.

“Many things happened while I was at Planned Parenthood,” she said in an interview. “It expanded its services and laid the groundwork for political activism. We defeated (Robert) Bork and we defeated congressional attempts to reverse Roe v. Wade.”

Bork, a former federal judge and conservative, was nominated for a spot on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, but it was successfully opposed.

In the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a state’s interpretation of when a woman could have an abortion and made abortion legal.

Wattleton was born on July 8, 1943, in St. Louis. Her mother was a minister and seamstress, and her father was a factory worker.

At 16, she enrolled at Ohio State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She later attended Columbia University, where she pursued a master’s degree in maternal and infant care, according to Biography.com.

Wattleton currently serves as managing director with Alvarez & Marsal in New York and leads the board governance advisory practice for the global business consulting firm.

Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Wattleton served as co-founder and president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, an independent, nonpartisan think tank that conducted women-focused national research for public education and policy advocacy, according to the company’s website.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers
Morgan Freeman friend defends actor after misconduct allegations, speaks out against accusers

At least eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, according to a report from CNN. The women said the behavior happened on and off movie sets. >> Read more trending news  Freeman is an Academy Award-winning actor, but he's also a business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Two blocks around the corner...
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Digable Planets, Chubby Checker
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Digable Planets, Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker is coming to Mill Town Music Hall in July. BY LEA HOLLAND/AJC Editorial Assistant If you find a mistake in Hot Tickets, please let us know. Contact Lea Holland at lea.holland@ajc.com. Events are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to call the venue before driving a long distance. Follow us on  Twitter...
Atlanta Concerts this week: Kendrick Lamar, Dave Matthews Band, U2
Atlanta Concerts this week: Kendrick Lamar, Dave Matthews Band, U2

Bono and the rest of U2 will visit Atlanta Monday for the first time in nearly a decade. Photo: Getty Images BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene FRIDAY The Championship Tour with Kendrick Lamar Coroneted earlier this year with a quartet of Grammy Awards, Lamar is rounding up the Top Dawg Entertainment roster — SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay...
Kenny Chesney fans can check out food experience at Molly B’s
Kenny Chesney fans can check out food experience at Molly B’s

Kenny Chesney will be in Atlanta Saturday. Photo: Jill Trunnell BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Kenny Cheney fans looking for a higher-end food experience can check out the all-inclusive cocktail party that will take place at Molly B’s. The event, which will include select beer and wine, passed apps and food action stations, will...
Theater review: ‘Hamilton’ a magnificent tale of triumph and tragedy
Theater review: ‘Hamilton’ a magnificent tale of triumph and tragedy

Born out of wedlock on a tiny Caribbean island in the middle of the 18th century, Alexander Hamilton arrived on American shores with killer timing: It was 1772. The American Revolution was at hand. By dint of his soaring intellect and vaulting ambition, he went on to help George Washington defeat the British and participate in the design of a miraculous...
More Stories