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Gloria Feldt
Gloria Feldt is an activist, author, and leading expert in women's rights, health, sex, media, leadership, and politics from where the personal meets the political. She blogs about these topics at

People Magazine called this former teen mom who became the leader of the world's largest reproductive and sexual health care provider and advocacy organization (Planned Parenthood) "the voice of experience".

Gloria's newest book, co-written with actress Kathleen Turner, is the New York Times bestseller Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on My Life, Love, and Leading Roles. Her two previous books are The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back and Behind Every Choice Is a Story.

Her commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, ELLE, and MS magazines among many others, and on-line in Alternet, Salon, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, WIMNsVoices, Women’s e-News, and RH Reality Check. Gloria has appeared as both a newsmaker and a commentator on most major national radio and television news and public affairs programs, and is a SheSource expert. Vanity Fair magazine named Gloria one of America's "top 200 women legends, leaders, and trailblazers". Glamour magazine honored her as Woman of the Year. She was one of Women's e-News' 2007 "21 Leaders for the 21st Century".

Gloria exemplifies leadership on the frontlines. For 22 years, she led Planned Parenthood affiliates in West Texas and Arizona. She then served as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the its political arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund from 1996-2005. Her call to "fight forward" scored insurance coverage for contraceptives and accessible emergency contraception, as well as initiating the Prevention First Act and reintroduction of the Freedom of Choice Act. Her leadership helped bring over a million people to Washington D. C. in 2004 to the March for Women's Lives--the largest march of any kind in the nation's history.

Gloria is a fellow of the International Leadership Forum. She serves on the Women's Media Center board of directors, the Jewish Women's Archive board, and the advisory board of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Gloria has a unique understanding of the confluence of the personal and the political in American culture. A confluence of the personal and the political propelled her own story too. As a young wife and mother from small-town Texas, she raised three children while attending college. She taught Head Start and was active in the civil rights movement and interfaith activities. There, she realized women's civil rights, equality, and social justice depend on having the human right to determine their own reproductive destiny. Her life's passion for social justice, especially for women, became her life's work. Texas Monthly, naming her to its Texas Twenty, described her as "part den mother, part businesswoman, part Mae West".

That's why today, she shares her expertise and experiences in her writing, speeches, and media commentary. She has a special passion for encouraging young people, through the media, to participate in the political process on behalf of their own rights and health.

She and her husband, Alex Barbanell, have a combined family of six children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They live in New York and Arizona.

Contact: website:


Photo credit: Maryanne Russell Photography

Entries by Gloria Feldt

Boston Leads the Metropolis Charge to Erase Gender Wage Gap

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 11:23 AM

Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Every year, we hear the same report, that women make 77 cents to men's dollar. Sometimes it is 78, but basically, we get the same hand-wringing commentary and nothing changes. In fact, Catalyst...

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Women Have Always Led From 'Why' But Not Always Rewarded for It

(10) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Patty Murray was a young mother who became riled up when her state legislator voted to cut preschool funding. She went to talk to him, and he dismissed her by saying she was "just a mom...

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Valerie's Story: How Intention and Power Tool #3 Landed a Big Promotion

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Sometimes feedback on the tangible results of leadership training is hard to come by because they may be indirect or hard to attribute to the training itself. This true story, however, is different. There is a direct line between what I taught and what happened. Read my Q and A...
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Mothers or Others? Why Choose? How Maternity Leave Policy Crushes Women's Leadership Parity

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 3:50 PM

Jamera Lee Massop was an administrative assistant in New York when she became pregnant. She didn't think being pregnant would or should impact her job.  However, with no reason other than "your contract says we can terminate you at any time for any reason," Jamera's company fired her when she...

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Women's Leadership Stars on Broadway

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 1:00 AM

I recently had my Broadway debut. No, seriously, check out this video of Feminomics interviewing me and Susan Arnot Heaney at the Women Leadership Summit just after we had both spoken on a panel smack in the middle of Times Square.

Here's a longer version of my part of the interview if you have time.

Enjoy and let me know what else you would have...

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Giffords Tragedy: What's the Message to Young Women Considering Public Service?

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2011 | 6:02 PM

I wrote this article as an exclusive to the Women's Media Center and reprint it here with permission. It can't begin to describe the pain in my heart for those killed or injured, their families and extended networks of friends.

When an angry young...

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Want Equal Rights? The Truth Is - Just Take Them!

(8) Comments | Posted March 8, 2010 | 12:15 PM

"If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it." --Sojourner Truth, former slave, abolitionist, Methodist minister, and early U.S. women's rights leader

International Women's Day began 99 years ago. With so much progress accomplished since 1911,...

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Lilly Ledbetter's Courageous Acts Pump Up Your Pocketbook

(5) Comments | Posted January 12, 2009 | 11:59 AM

Hey, Women: Want to earn a cool half million?

That's about what the average woman loses over a career lifetime due to gender inequities in pay for the same jobs as men.

So click here to Speak Up and demand the Senate pass two crucial pieces of legislation so...

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John McCain's Wrong Answers to Working Women's Questions--Now Give Him Your Answer at the Ballot Box

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2008 | 10:13 AM

By Carole Joffe and Gloria Feldt
Don't get excited. John McCain didn't respond directly to the questions about his positions on economic and reproductive justice we first put to him on Labor Day here at Huffington Post and have been asking him ever since.

Since then, he shocked...

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Snidely McCain Bullies as Usual, But Fails to Tie the Final Knot

(4) Comments | Posted October 16, 2008 | 7:07 PM

Remember the bumbling villain Snidely Whiplash in the Dudley Do-Right animated series? But for the absence of mustache, John McCain might well have been mistaken for Snidely in the final -- thank goodness -- presidential debate. I could imagine him rubbing hands together, cackling as...

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Obama Caint Choose Kaine

(54) Comments | Posted August 17, 2008 | 11:59 PM

In Texas where I come from, "caint" is a perfectly good word. If it's not already in the dictionary, it should be.

Definition: what someone must not do, as in "Barack Obama caint choose Virginia's anti-choice Gov. Tim Kaine as his running mate."

Think about it. If Obama...

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John Edwards and the Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants

(34) Comments | Posted August 12, 2008 | 3:32 PM

How many male politicians do you think are burning their little black books and expunging e-mails right now, as another of their brotherhood bites the dust from his own lack of zipper control?

We have way too much information about John Edwards and his self-described narcissism. Clearly, like any...

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Why I'm Not Writing That Check to Obama Today

(51) Comments | Posted July 9, 2008 | 1:51 PM

I was planning to attend Barack Obama's big fundraising reception in New York tonight and make the maximum contribution to his campaign, but I have torn up the invitation.

My decision isn't about the money, though the thought of writing a check for $4600 for anything besides a mortgage payment...

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How Bo Diddley Can Teach Hillary Clinton a Note or Two

(15) Comments | Posted June 9, 2008 | 2:38 PM

It's been a tough week. The death of legendary rock n' roller Bo Diddley and the demise of Hillary Clinton's groundbreaking presidential campaign both hit me hard. I'm a cockeyed optimist, but these two events forced me to confront certain basic truths: dreams don't always come true; hopes sometimes...

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Should Hillary Drop Out? Absolutely not!

(126) Comments | Posted May 8, 2008 | 8:58 PM

So my Los Angeles liberal friend called while I was on the treadmill this morning. She helped me get an especially good workout today. In fact, I got so worked up I was panting.

LALF: What about your girlfriend?
(I didn't have to ask her who she meant.)

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Pennsylvania Station 2008

(23) Comments | Posted April 23, 2008 | 12:26 PM

Read more reactions from Huffington Post bloggers to the Pennsylvania Primary results

Pennsylvania was clearly going to be either the semi-finals or the finals in this game. Looks like the semi-finals are headed into overtime. And that's a good thing.

In the pre-internet old days of backroom politics, the...

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Hillary Clinton's Penn-Ultimate Leadership Mistake

(53) Comments | Posted April 8, 2008 | 12:31 PM

The worst mistakes I've made in life and leadership have always involved waiting too long to fire someone.

Whether I'm hanging onto a relationship long after love is gone or hanging onto an employee long after positive value to the organization has diminished beyond the point of return, my loyalty...

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Obama Is Right: Words Matter When You Want Your Opponent to Leave the Race

(277) Comments | Posted March 31, 2008 | 11:49 AM

AOL News reports this:

Despite calls for his rival to drop out of their tight race for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama said Saturday, "My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants."

Note the tepid and dismissive "Senator Clinton...

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Eliot Spitzer's Leadership Lessons

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2008 | 11:55 AM

This is not a joke. Really. As I was writing yesterday's post on my own Heartfeldt Politics Blog "The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall (and Vice Versa)", I realized there are important leadership lessons in this Shakespearean tragedy.

Besides the obvious one -- well actually two if you...

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Spitzer: Testosterone Run Amok?

(38) Comments | Posted March 10, 2008 | 5:27 PM

Sick to my stomach. That's my initial reaction to the breaking story of Eliot Spitzer's admission that he has been involved with a prostitution ring.

What was he thinking? What is is that makes men in high profile political positions think they can get away with this kind of...

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