The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale Named President & CEO of NAF

The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale Named President & CEO of NAF

Today, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Board of Directors announced that The Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has been named President and CEO. Ragsdale has served as Interim President and CEO since September 2018. 

“We are pleased to announce that Katherine will be staying at NAF as our President & CEO,” said Sue Carlisle, MD, NAF’s Board Chair. “In her short time at NAF, Katherine has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to serving our members and her great vision for the future of NAF, the NAF Hotline Fund, and NAF Canada. After working with her for the last year, it was clear to the Board that the best person for the job was already leading the organization.”

Ragsdale is an Episcopal priest who has been outspoken about abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and public policy issues affecting women and families throughout her career. She has testified before the U.S. Congress as well as numerous state legislatures about the importance of abortion access and was a featured speaker at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NAF, she served for 17 years (9 of them as chair) on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Rev. Ragsdale has preached about how abortion is a blessing and has been active in clinic defense work and other activities to support abortion providers for more than 35 years.

“It has been a great privilege to lead this organization for the last year and work alongside the incredible and dedicated NAF Board, staff, and membership,” said Ragsdale. “Abortion providers are some of my personal heroes and modern-day saints. It is an honor to be able to serve and support NAF members as they provide compassionate health care amid increasing attacks and challenges.”

Since taking the helm, Ragsdale has focused on bolstering the NAF and NAF Hotline Fund staff and serving NAF members. Under her direction, the NAF Board recently adopted the following mission statement to clearly articulate NAF’s particular role in the field and re-focus the organization’s work on supporting abortion providers: NAF unites, represents, serves, and supports abortion providers in delivering patient-centered, evidence-based care.

Ragsdale is the sixth person to lead NAF since the organization was founded in 1977.

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