November 18, 2019-- The Board of Directors of Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE) announced today that Rocio Córdoba, will become the next Executive Director of FRE effective December 16, 2019. For the past 20 years, Rocio has worked in several leadership positions in the reproductive health, rights, and justice field as well as in the philanthropic sector. As the new Executive Director, Rocio will usher in an exciting new era of leadership that will advance FRE’s role in leading philanthropy to optimize resources for all people’s freedom over their sexual and reproductive lives.
“Rocio’s deep commitment to the field of reproductive equity, health, rights, and justice with insight into the intersectionality of reproductive equity across racial, gender, economic, LGBTQ, human rights, environmental justice, and international issues will be vital to leading FRE into the future,” said Surina Khan, Co-Chair of the Board of FRE and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California.
“Rocio is a visionary leader who brings insight, understanding and experience that is critical to FRE’s future as a leading organization in philanthropy,” added Joanna Lauen, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of FRE and a Senior Program Officer with the Irving Harris Foundation.
Rocio has over two decades of experience advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice on behalf of women of color, low-income women, and young people. Since 2016, Rocio has been a Principal with Conway Strategic, a consulting firm advancing innovative communications strategies to change policy, mobilize the public, and transform culture for progressive causes. Prior to that, Rocio served as Program Officer with the Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice Program at the Ford Foundation, where she managed the Youth Sexuality, Reproductive Health and Rights and Sexuality Research Initiatives. There, she focused on cultivating programs to advance youth sexual and reproductive rights through mobilization, advocacy, and groundbreaking community-informed research. Rocio’s innovative program design resulted in the integration of communications, digital media and original television content, while supporting young people’s leadership and voice to engage influential audiences and transform stigmatizing cultural narratives.
Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Rocio co-founded and was Executive Director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, where she spearheaded efforts to advance Latinas’ leadership in reproductive health, rights and justice policy from a community-based perspective. While in California, Rocio worked in coalition to defeat three parental notification ballot initiatives, highlighting the detrimental effect of these policies on young Latinas and their families. Her career includes over a decade of leading public interest and civil rights litigation, raising constitutional challenges and securing remedies to advance the rights of low-income women, communities of color, and young people.
“I’m excited to join FRE as its next Executive Director and look forward to engaging and supporting FRE’s membership to advance its vision of reproductive equity, rights and justice,” said Rocio Córdoba. “By working through coordinated and collaborative strategies, we have tremendous potential to increase support for all people’s freedom over their sexual and reproductive lives, in particular among the most underserved and marginalized communities.”
Rocio has been a longstanding leader and supporter of the reproductive justice movement on the national, state, and grassroots levels. Earlier in her career, Rocio served as a staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; staff attorney fellow with the ACLU’s National Reproductive Freedom Project; the Kennedy/Coleman Fellow with the ACLU of Illinois; and director of public affairs at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. Rocio’s research and writing have been published in numerous publications, including The Huffington Post and the Harvard Women’s Law Journal.
Rocio holds a J.D. from the University of California Hastings School of Law and B.A degrees from the University of Southern California.