Gloria Feldt

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Gloria Feldt
Gloria Feldt-3 jeh.jpg
Feldt at her podcast station
President of Planned Parenthood
In office
Succeeded byCecile Richards
Personal details
Born (1942-04-13) April 13, 1942 (age 79)
Temple, Texas, U.S.
OccupationCo-founder and president of Take The Lead, feminist, writer, author, speaker
AwardsVanity Fair, America's Top 200 Women Leaders
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Gloria Feldt (born April 13, 1942) is a New York Times best-selling author,[1] speaker, commentator, and feminist leader who has gained national recognition as a social and political advocate of women's rights. In 2013, with Amy Litzenberger, she founded Take the Lead, a nonprofit initiative with a goal to propel women to leadership parity by 2025.[2] She is a former CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, directing the organization from 1996 to 2005.

Early life and career[edit]

Gloria Feldt was born on April 13, 1942 in Temple, Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

She joined Planned Parenthood in 1974 at the Permian Basin Planned Parenthood office (now Planned Parenthood of West Texas). Beginning in 1978, she headed its Central Northern Arizona office. "Her superlative compassion and conviction," according to Women in the World Foundation, "combined with her intelligence and charisma, have carried her from teenage motherhood in West Texas to a thirty-year career with the reproductive health provider and advocacy group Planned Parenthood Federation of America."[3] Feldt ran the Central Northern Arizona Planned Parenthood office when family planning became controversial and politically charged; she traveled with a bodyguard and avoided working in well-lit, open offices with large windows that could be targeted by protestors.[4]

Feldt with Albert Wynn on steps of U.S. Supreme Court at a rally for abortion rights on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

From 1996 to 2005, she was CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was the architect and instigator of contraceptive coverage by insurance.[5][6]

Active early in her career in the civil rights movement,[7] she often comments on women's issues, including in a June 2012 Salon online magazine article.[8] MSNBC interviewed her for a piece about the War on Women that aired March 19, 2012.[9] The New York Times' Adriana Gardella did a Q&A with Feldt in 2010, featuring her in its business section.[10]

People magazine once called Feldt "the voice of experience."[11]

As president of Take The Lead, she oversees learning programs, mentoring, networking, and role modeling programs for women.[2] She is a professor at Arizona State University, where she teaches the course Women, Power, and Leadership.[12] She also serves on the boards of the Women's Media Center and the Jewish Women's Archive and on the advisory board of Our Bodies, Ourselves.


Feldt is a frequent public speaker, lecturing at universities, civic and professional organizations, as well as national and international conferences on women, feminism, politics, leadership, media, and health. In October 2011, she sat on a panel, moderated by attorney mediator Victoria Pynchon, with feminist leaders Gloria Steinem, Shelby Knox and Jamia Wilson at the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association annual conference[13] She has also appeared in several forums on C-SPAN's Book TV.

In addition to speaking engagements, she tours with an intergenerational feminist panel titled WomenGirlsLadies.[14]


Feldt's commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among other publications. She has contributed also to Truthout, The Daily Beast,, ForbesWoman,[15] Democracy Journal, Women's eNews, The Huffington Post, WIMN's Voices, the Women's Media Center, the International Leadership Forum's ilfpost, BlogHer, and on her personal website.[16]

Feldt has written several books. Her latest, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, was published by Seal Press in October 2010.[17]


  • Behind Every Choice is a Story (University of North Texas Press, 2003) ISBN 978-1-57441-158-4
  • The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back (Bantam Dell, 2004) ISBN 978-0-553-38292-1
  • Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles (Springboard, 2008), co-authored with actress Kathleen Turner and a New York Times best seller. ISBN 978-0-446-58112-7
  • No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power (Seal Press, 2010) ISBN 978-1-58005-328-0

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • New York Newswomen Front Page Award, 2007[18]
  • Women's eNews, 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, 2007[19]
  • Women Lawyers Los Angeles, Courage Award, 2005[20]
  • Arizona Civil Liberties Union, Civil Libertarian of the Year, 2005
  • Planned Parenthood Golden Gate Sarah Weddington Award, 2005
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Margaret Sanger Award, 2005[21]
  • Glamour Magazine, Woman of the Year, 2003[22]
  • Vanity Fair magazine, America's Top 200 Women Leaders, Legends and Trailblazers, 1998[23]
  • World Academy of Art and Science, Special Award, 1998
  • Texas Monthly Texas Twenty 1996
  • City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission, Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award, 1996
  • National Organization for Women, Sun City Chapter, Golden Apple Award, 1995
  • Soroptimist International, Women Helping Women Award, 1994 and 1998
  • Planned Parenthood National Executive Directors Council Ruth Green Award, 1990
  • Woman of Achievement, 1987, Junior League, Mujer, and AAUW
  • New Times, Best of Phoenix, 1987

Personal life[edit]

At age 15, Feldt married her college-age boyfriend and had three children by the time she was 20.[24] She currently lives with her husband Alex Barbanell and splits her time between New York City and Scottsdale, Arizona.


  1. ^ Best Sellers: Hard Cover Nonfiction (#11), The New York Times, March 2, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Do You Really Want The Top Job? 7 Lessons Gloria Feldt Taught Me About Our New Female Power". June 6, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "Woman of the Week: Gloria Feldt," Archived July 29, 2012, at Women in the World Foundation, January 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Making of a Political Activist," Ms. magazine, Spring 2003.
  5. ^ "Lawsuit Alleges Bias Over Refusal To Pay For Contraceptives," Chicago Tribune, July 20, 2000.
  6. ^ "Driving the Conversation," Politico, February 9, 2012.
  7. ^ "Interview with Gloria Feldt," Archived December 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The Daily Femme!, October 4, 2010. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "No ideology to see here!," Salon, June 4, 2012.
  9. ^ "Former Planned Parenthood Pres to FCC: Fire Rush!" MSNBC, March 19, 2012.
  10. ^ "Where Is the Female Steve Jobs?" New York Times, October 4, 2010.
  11. ^ "The Voice of Experience," People, June 24, 1996.
  12. ^ "Feldt interviewed on KJZZ-FM"[dead link] ASU News.
  13. ^ Event Calendar, South Carolina Bar, January 21, 2011.
  14. ^ "Feminists bring multigenerational perspective to reopen dialogue," ASU News, October 6, 2009.
  15. ^ "Gloria Feldt – Heartfeldt Leadership". Forbes. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "Gloria Feldt". Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  17. ^ No Excuses: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power: Gloria Feldt: 9781580053884: Books. ISBN 1580053882.
  18. ^ "Newswomen's Club of New York Announces 2007 Front Page Awards Winners," PR Newswire, October 22, 2008.
  19. ^ "Women's eNews Celebrates with Our 21 Leaders 2007," Women's eNews, June 19, 2007.
  20. ^ WLALA's Annual Awards, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
  21. ^ "PPFA Margaret Sanger Award Winners". Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "GLAMOUR Magazine Announces the 2003 Women of the Year" Archived December 21, 2004, at the Wayback Machine, PRNewswire.
  23. ^ "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast with … Gloria Feldt," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 11, 2000.
  24. ^ Gloria Feldt, Mother Jones, March/April 1997.

External links[edit]