For immediate release
August 5, 2013

Catherine Russell Confirmed as New Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
Statement by Population Action International President & CEO Suzanne Ehlers

“PAI congratulates Catherine Russell on her confirmation as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, a post that highlights women and girls as key drivers of development worldwide.

Ambassador Russell brings to her new role valuable experience in both Congress and the White House, where she has been a strong champion of women’s rights and did extensive work on the issue of gender-based violence both at home and abroad. She worked with then-Senator Biden on the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and drafted the first International Violence Against Women Act, which then-Senator Biden introduced in 2007. She was also central to the development of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally. The strategy calls for greater U.S. interagency coordination and a multi-sectoral approach that includes sexual and reproductive health.

We look forward to working with Ambassador Russell and our other allies in the State Department, in particular the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and USAID to expand access to family planning and reproductive health services globally. Investing in women, including their reproductive health needs, is essential to meeting larger health and development goals.”