Program Staff - Catholics For Choice

Media Contact

For more information or to arrange an interview with CFC President Jon O’Brien, please contact us via phone at +1 (202) 986-6093 or by email.

Program Staff

All photos copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.



 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Jon O’Brien, President Catholics for Choice
Jon O’Brien is president of Catholics for Choice (CFC), the leading prochoice organization advocating for sexual and reproductive rights from a standpoint of culture, faith, justice and morality. Mr. O’Brien presents a visionary approach to reproductive health policy, focused on advancing reproductive health access for all women and increasing public support for abortion and contraception. Mr. O’Brien speaks for millions of Catholics in the US and abroad when he challenges the powerful Catholic hierarchy on these issues, urging a greater respect for core Catholic values of individual conscience and social justice.
A leader in developing global strategies for reproductive health and rights, Mr. O’Brien has strengthened communications and advocacy efficacy and policy development on five continents, working with family planning associations, doctors and nurses, prochoice advocates, nonprofit leaders, and policy makers to develop new ways to discuss and advance respect for women’s choices. Decision makers, including members of the United States Congress, UK House of Parliament, state legislators in the US, members of the European Parliament and of national parliaments across the globe, call upon him to articulate the prochoice, Catholic perspective to inform critical policy debates. Mr. O’Brien’s insights have stimulated discussion on reproductive rights and health through his frequent contributions in articles and opinion pieces in print media including the New York Times, the Economist, the International Herald Tribune, the Independent (UK) and the National Catholic Reporter, as well as through his appearances on CNN and BBC, among many other news outlets across the US and around the world.
A life-long Catholic born and raised in the Republic of Ireland, Mr. O’Brien’s involvement in reproductive rights was sparked by his reaction to the great injustices that women especially face as a result of the Catholic hierarchy’s influence over public policy in the country. Before joining CFC in 1996, he worked on the front lines of reproductive health provision at the Irish Family Planning Association and as program manager at the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s European Bureau in London, where he oversaw the establishment of family planning clinics in Eastern Europe during a time of immense political and social turmoil. Mr. O’Brien has been honored by the International Parliamentarians Conference on ICPD, recognized as a “Key to Choice” by Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, and received the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Women’s Law Center in 2007.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Vice President
Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe oversees CFC’s Domestic Program to enhance CFC’s influence in public policy debates on reproductive health and rights in the United States. Ms. Ratcliffe works closely with the president to develop and implement CFC’s organizational strategy, program plans and communications efforts, serving as one of the spokespersons for the organization with the public, partners and in the media. She helps build and sustain the organization’s relationships with key stakeholders including policymakers and donors to foster support for CFC’s work around the world. Ms. Ratcliffe is an experienced advocate in nonprofit advocacy where her work has focused on women’s health issues and tobacco control policy at the state and federal level. Working with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations on policy analysis, strategic planning, and legislative and grassroots advocacy, she held positions with several advocacy organizations in a variety of sectors. Ms. Hutchinson Ratcliffe earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

 

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Taylor Tuckerman, Program Coordinator and Operations Manager
Taylor Tuckerman manages the day-to-day operations of Catholics for Choice, coordinates the activities of different departments and monitors the organization’s finances and budget. Ms. Tuckerman holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Christopher Newport University and a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University.

top

 

 
Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Caitlin Moran, Senior Associate for Development

Caitlin Moran assists the President in coordinating the development efforts of the organization to ensure CFC’s institutional stability. She maintains relationships with current individual and foundation supporters and promotes CFC’s mission to new and expanded constituencies, cultivating broad-based financial support for all CFC’s programs. Ms. Moran’s prior work experience as a development coordinator with Literature for All of Us in Evanston, IL, as well as her work in engagement and relationship building across a wide spectrum of partners, activists and communities throughout the country give her a broad perspective on communicating to donors on issues related to sexual health and reproductive rights. Ms. Moran holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and studied at the John Felice Roman Center of Loyola University in Rome, Italy.

 

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Cynthia Romero, Director of Communication
Cynthia Romero directs communications and messaging strategies for publications, press and public engagements, creative content and storytelling, and advocacy campaigns to elevate CFC’s thought leadership as the authoritative voice on reproductive rights, religious freedom and Catholicism. She is also the deputy editor of Conscience, CFC’s flagship quarterly magazine. Previously, Ms. Romero served as strategic communications advisor in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she spearheaded communications, media outreach and Congressional testimonies on democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance. A seasoned advocate for free speech and human rights globally, Ms. Romero has held positions at Freedom House, the Atlantic Council, and the National Democratic Institute. She has been a frequent contributor on CNN en Español, Mashable, Fox News, and other Spanish and English-language media, and authored several publications on human rights and foreign assistance. Ms. Romero holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a master’s degree from Queens University Belfast where she was a George J. Mitchell Scholar.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Casey Baker, Press Officer
Casey Baker handles CFC’s press and social media outreach, including coordinating press statements and commentary, pitching stories and engaging and cultivating relationships with journalists and media outlets. She also helps coordinate CFC’s social and digital storytelling. Prior to joining CFC, Ms. Baker was active in local politics in Indiana, where she gained experience in constituent relations in the Office of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and served on his re-election campaign. She worked on communications and media outreach at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame.

top

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Glenn Northern, Domestic Program Director
Glenn Northern leads and implements CFC’s US activities, including advocacy, outreach, policymaker education, legislative analysis and collegial relationships. He directs CFC’s Catholics in Public Life project, a nonpartisan public education initiative that helps Catholic policy makers in the US clearly articulate prochoice positions grounded in progressive Catholicism and sound public policy. He oversees CFC’s strategic relationships with prochoice Catholics, policymakers, reproductive health providers, religious and secular activists and collegial organizations to inform and influence debates on sexual and reproductive health and rights, social justice and religious liberty. Before joining CFC, Mr. Northern led constituency building and advocacy efforts at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. He holds a degree in political science and women’s studies from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Katy Joseph, State Policy Associate
Katy Joseph advances CFC’s US advocacy to further prochoice policies and expand access to patient-centered reproductive health services, focusing primarily on the state and local level. She sustains relationships with our Catholics in Public Life network in articulating prochoice positions grounded in progressive Catholicism and sound public policy. Ms. Joseph also promotes CFC’s expertise and work to protect patients’ rights under the Catholic Healthcare systems in the United States, and to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for limits on access to care. Before joining CFC, Ms. Joseph advocated for civil and disability rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Arc of the US, and the Urban Justice Center. Her commitment to reproductive rights, particularly for low-income and poor women, is rooted in her experience as a legal advocate for Medicaid recipients in New York City. Ms. Joseph holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Reed College and a juris doctor from the City University of New York School of Law.

top

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Sonja Spoo, Domestic Outreach Associate
Sonja Spoo promotes CFC’s US advocacy on the local, state and national levels, focusing on outreach, engagement, and relationship building with the organization’s extensive network of activists and advocates. Ms. Spoo’s organizing experience includes working with faith communities and secular agencies around issues of gender based violence and advocating for increase access to reproductive care in undeserved communities through doula work and grassroots education. Ms. Spoo holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore PA.

top

 

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Amanda Ussak, International Program Director

Amanda Ussak implements and manages CFC’s international activities including initiatives with global advocates, policymakers and reproductive health providers and other influencers to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. Ms. Ussak’s leadership helps CFC influence and build a stronger community of advocates working around the globe to diminish the influence of religious extremism on women’s health policies. She manages strategic partnerships with civil society and policy leaders across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe to educate public and policy audiences about Catholic support for women’s autonomy in reproductive health decisions. Ms. Ussak has a wide range of expertise in development assistance in the government, non-profit and private sectors. Previously, she worked with several start-ups to design and test products for community initiatives. Ms. Ussak served in the Office of the Deputy Secretary and the Bureau of Public Diplomacy at the State Department. She has also consulted for several faith-based nonprofits. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree from Stanford University.

top

Photo copyright Catholics for Choice. May not be used without permission.

Elyce Nollette, International Program Senior Associate
Elyce Nollette coordinates CFC’s international program activities with overseas policymakers, health providers, advocates, activists and collegial organizations to diminish the influence of religious extremism on public policy and advance sexual and reproductive rights. She employs her experience and training in public policy and diplomacy, to foster and sustain strategic relationships as well as inform and influence international debates in the reproductive health and religious liberty spaces. Ms. Nollette’s experience encompasses a range of human security and international development issues both domestically and internationally, including in Latin America and Africa. Ms. Nollette holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Dickinson College and a Master of Public and International Affairs in Human Security from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at University of Pittsburgh.

top