When I was in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic, I became close with two young girls. They were my lifelines. They taught me how to get clean water, where to bathe, and how to cook — essentially how to survive thousands of miles from home.
They always showed up when I needed them, and I cared about them.
I remember clearly the day they left the village for their female genital cutting ceremonies. My heart ached. They were so excited for this rite of passage, but I could only see the health consequences that awaited them. For them, it was the only door available to walk through to become a woman.
That was the moment that set me on the path to becoming a leader for women’s reproductive rights. My commitment to making my life matter for my young friends led me to PAI. These girls had always shown up for me when I needed them, and working at PAI was my opportunity to be there for them and for girls like them. PAI has been showing up — with unparalleled impact — for 50 years. And we do so in ways both meaningful and strategic, with skills both needed and valued: impassioned advocacy to remove policy barriers between women and the reproductive care that is their right; expert research that builds political will; and partnership to support a global network of champions in the developing world. Being a leader starts with a simple act of showing up.
But it’s not enough.
Without a clear vision, a core passion, and guiding principles, we cannot create a better future for women and girls. Over the years, PAI’s work has met at the intersections of the world’s most pressing needs, with one constant always at the center: our mission to ensure that every woman can make her own reproductive health decisions.
That mission has led PAI through the triumphs, like when a woman finally gets the contraception she needs, and the moments of heartbreak, like when a bill fails in Congress. Our core conviction keeps us evolving and propels us forward, smarter and more committed after every win and every loss.
I could not be more proud to share PAI’s annual report, especially this year, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. From our programmatic achievements to our financial results, PAI continually exhibits unparalleled leadership. We have everything it takes to advance the agenda for all people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights — including, fortunately, you.
Thank you for being by our side as a trusted ally, supporter and friend. Best,
President & CEO