Amanda Dennis, DrPH, MBE (she/her)

Executive Director
(mountain time zone)

Contact Amanda

When she first joined the Society of Family Planning, Amanda immediately recognized the Society as her academic and professional home; a place where she could engage with and learn from other members, whether she was building connections with mentors or mentees, serving as a grant reviewer, presenting at the annual meeting, or securing research or career development grants. As a girl from a small town in Georgia who started out at community college, she relished every opportunity the Society offered to develop scholarship and leadership. It was the Society that supported her dissertation on the unmet health needs of women with epilepsy, a project which helped launch her independent research career and ultimately led to the creation of Girls with Nerve, a sexual and reproductive health website designed to inform and support teens living with the disorder. Amanda’s passion for research
that makes a difference was honed during her nine years as an Associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, where her research focused on understanding
how abortion and contraception policies impact low-income people. Her work has been published in the Society’s official journal Contraception, and in the American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research Journal, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Seizure, and Women’s Health Issues, among other journals. She has also served on the board of the Abortion Care Network, and the Advisory Board of Collective Power. Amanda first became involved with Collective Power as a student at Hampshire College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. She also holds a Doctor of Public Health from Boston University, and a Master’s in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. “My job at the Society is to see how all the different parts connect and make them hum,” says Amanda. “I weave together vision, operations, members, and partners, and it is fantastic.” Contact Amanda at, 866.584.6758, ext. 305.

Vanessa Arenas, MPH (she/her)

Senior Project Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Vanessa

Vanessa brings to her daily work a lifelong commitment to reproductive health access and a profound desire to learn from her colleagues across the abortion and contraception fields. “I want to further strengthen the alignment between the work and resources that the Society offers and the needs of direct-service providers,” she says. Prior to joining the Society, Vanessa was Deputy Director at a nonprofit abortion clinic in Northeast Ohio, overseeing programming and leading strategic planning. She currently leads implementation of a national abortion reporting effort led by the Society in collaboration with various stakeholders. “I’m interested in research around health disparities, particularly in the Latinx community,” says Vanessa, who received a Master of Public Health from the CUNY School of Public Health and Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies with a minor in Chican@ & Latin@ Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Science helps us refine our practices and make decisions based on measurable knowledge. It invites us to ask questions rather than conform to old practices, helping us evolve how we engage in the world.” Contact Vanessa at, 866.584.6758, ext. 423.

Maggie Baker, BA (she/her)

Director of Finance and Administration
(eastern time zone)

Contact Maggie

Maggie works closely with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to maintain the Society’s financial infrastructure and leads and develops the Society’s financial and administrative procedures. “Our strength lies in our ability to attract and retain staff from all over the US,” she says. “The work I do enables the Society to be a national remote employer.” Maggie spent 14 years as the Director of Finance and Administration at Provide, a national nonprofit that trains health and social service providers to meet the needs of patients with unintended pregnancies, including abortion care. “Access to abortion should always be part of healthcare conversations,” says Maggie. “I am excited to support research and science that helps make that possible.” She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Trinity College and Certificates of Nonprofit Finance and Human Resources Essentials through Cornell University. Contact Maggie at, 866.584.6758, ext. 414.

Rhea Beddoe, BA (she/her)

Director of Community Engagement and Experiences
(eastern time zone)

Contact Rhea

Rhea is committed to ensuring that abortion, contraception, and family planning are not left on the sidelines of the national healthcare conversation — a reflection of her lifelong passion for social justice. Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Rhea oversaw the daily programming operations at Take The Lead, a national nonprofit dedicated to getting more women into top leadership positions. Rhea has also worked as a campaign coordinator and fundraising consultant for New York City Council races. A member of the board of New York Abortion Access Fund, she is particularly interested in research about how decreased access to reproductive health care affects communities. “A large part of what I do centers around building a robust membership community where people can share the best and latest developments happening in the family planning world, ” she says. Rhea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College. Contact Rhea at, 866.584.6758, ext. 405.

Madison Bilthuis, BA (she/her)

Senior Assistant to the Executive Director and Special Projects Coordinator
(mountain time zone)

Contact Madison

Madison finds the quotidian aspects of supporting the Society’s Executive Director and Board of Directors inspiring. “When I schedule a meeting, it’s more than just scheduling a meeting,” explains Madison, who previously served as a Health Center Assistant with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “I’m arranging an opportunity for brilliant minds to come together to address some of the most crucial and controversial topics of our time.” Madison, who started college at age 16 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock before transferring to Colorado State University to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, is particularly taken by the history of abortion. “Abortion is older than some modern mainstream religions,” explains Madison. “Seeing how religious and cultural views can and have shifted over time is incredibly intriguing. This is probably the anthropologist in me.” Contact Madison at, 866.584.6758, ext. 406.

Rachel Brooks, MS (she/her)

Grants Manager
(central time zone)

Contact Rachel

“Accessibility is my personal family planning soapbox,” says Rachel. “Year after year we’re fighting another TRAP law, barrier, or reduction in health care funding. Health care that includes the full spectrum of abortion and contraception is a basic human right and access to it shouldn’t be determined by your income.” This passion is something that has persisted throughout a career spent serving nonprofit organizations that advance the cause of reproductive health, rights, and justice; and advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS. Rachel studied psychology and human services at Millsaps College before completing her Master of Science in Psychology at the University of Memphis. In her role as Grants Manager, Rachel is driven to ensure that researchers of color and emerging researchers are able to secure support for their work. “I want to help them answer the question of how might we make abortion and contraception more just and informed by people’s lived experiences,” she says. Contact Rachel at, 866.584.6758, ext. 410.

Jake De Weerd, MEd (he/him)

Sponsorship and Events Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Jake

By developing and fostering relationships with existing stakeholders, identifying future partners, and actively supporting and assisting sponsors and exhibitors, Jake plays a key role in ensuring the Society maintains the relationships it needs to deliver on its promise to serve as the source for abortion and contraception science. Jake, who served as the Director of the Annual Fund at Tampa Preparatory School before joining the Society, is passionate about finding ways in which data driven research can bridge the opinion gap that defines so much of the conversation around abortion and contraception policy. “True science is not clouded by personal bias,” says Jake, who studied business at Virginia Tech and got a Master of Education at the University of Florida. “In a world comprised of various backgrounds and lived experiences, data and science— not individual belief structures— must be relied upon to shape policy decisions for communities both large and small.” Contact Jake at, 866.584.6758, ext. 422.

Christine Hence, MS (she/her)

Events Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Christine

Before joining the Society of Family Planning in 2016, Christine worked with middle school teachers as the Early Warning System Program Manager for the Philadelphia Education Fund, utilizing data in the classroom to flag early warning signs of dropout. She started her career as Curriculum and Research Manager for Medical Students for Choice and then as a Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Christine is interested in research that explores “reducing reproductive health disparities,” driven by her “strong interest in social justice.” Christine received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cabrini College and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Contact Christine at, 866.584.6758, ext. 402.

Sara Hilliard, LPC, MA (she/her)

Senior Medical Education Manager
(central time zone)


In developing and implementing the Society’s continuing education programs, Sara focuses on one primary outcome. “I work every day in to improve the healthcare experiences— particularly among underserved groups who may struggle to access quality healthcare,” she says. Sara first developed her passion for understanding and addressing health care disparities as an undergrad Psychology major and Human Sexuality minor at the University of Kansas, and continued to develop it through her graduate work in Counseling and Guidance at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She comes to the Society from the University of Kansas Medical Center where she was the Continuing Education Program Manager. “If we are not working to constantly move forward and improve care for others, we are failing ourselves and the people who depend on us,” says Sara. Contact Sara at, 866.584.6758, ext. 413.

Ruth Manski, MPH (she/her)

Senior Grantmaking and Evaluation Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Ruth

Ruth drives all phases of the grantmaking lifecycle as well as leads ongoing learning related to grantmaking. She plays a key role in developing and implementing funding opportunities as well as leverage insights from formative and ongoing evaluation into improved grantmaking practice and enhanced research impact. “Learning from and improving upon our programs is critical to having the greatest impact on the field of family planning,” says Ruth. She was previously on staff at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, developing tools to improve shared decision-making in reproductive health care. She also worked at Ibis Reproductive Health, managing a portfolio of research that assessed and sought to increase the quality and accessibility of contraception, abortion, and HIV care. In 2009, Ruth received a Fulbright to study Sri Lankan women’s kitchen culture and cooking practices. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College. Ruth joined the Society of Family Planning in 2017. Contact Ruth at, 866.584.6758, ext. 403.

Jenny O'Donnell, ScD (she/her)

Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
(eastern time zone)

Contact Jenny

Since joining the Society of Family Planning in 2018, Jenny spends her days tackling the puzzle of how to align financial and organizational resources with rigorous and thoughtful science in a way that assures the most impactful results. “There are a million small but critical choices that go into moving research from an interesting question to an actionable plan to meaningful results. As a grantmaking organization, the trick is to figure how we support scholars making these choices, with the end goal of just and equitable abortion and contraception in mind” she says. Jenny earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, where she later served as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. She also holds a Doctorate of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Science in Society, Human Development and Health, both from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on qualitatively and quantitatively exploring the intersection of place and individual attributes on access to reproductive health services in rural communities in Central Appalachia. Her research has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Reproductive Health Matters, Women’s Health Issues, and the Journal of Maternal and Child Health. Jenny spent over ten years as the Deputy Director at Provide, a national nonprofit focused on training health and social service providers to meet the needs of patients with unintended pregnancies, including abortion care. Jenny has also served as a Fellow in the 2012-2013 National Council for Research on Women-Amex Fellowship, a program dedicated to developing women leaders in the nonprofit sector. Contact Jenny at, 866.584.6758, ext. 407.

Neel Pandya, MSW (she/her)

Director of Clinical Affairs and Fellowship
(eastern time zone)

Contact Neel

Neel has dedicated her 17-year career to working for nonprofits that, in her words, “promote agency over one’s body and the ability to make informed decisions about one’s health and well-being.” Now she brings that passion to directing and overseeing the Society’s training and education activities, including the Fellowship in Complex Family Planning. “Graduates of the Fellowship are the field’s premier clinicians and innovators,” says Neel. “It very well may be that one of them develops the next birth control method that is patient-dependent.” After completing her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Michigan, Neel worked in public health in Vermont, Louisiana, North Carolina and New York, where she developed her expertise in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Contact Neel at, 866.584.6758, ext. 416.

Lauren Parker, BS (she/her)

Fellowship Manager
(pacific time zone)

Contact Lauren

Lauren manages career development courses for and facilitates communication amongst Fellowship in Complex Family Planning physicians who will soon “be at the forefront of abortion and contraception research and clinical care.” She cares deeply about the Society’s goals of supporting the production of research primed for impact and advancing the delivery of clinical care. “After their two years in Fellowship, fellows will be leading teams to provide essential clinical services and using their voices as academic clinicians to advocate for bodily autonomy.” Community building and education have always been Lauren’s focus. She came to the Society after launching and coordinating a social justice youth development program and, before that, spent a number of summers managing residential camp counselors outside of Yosemite National Park. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University. Contact Lauren at, 866.584.6758, ext. 418.

Olivia Samples, BA, CD, PPD, CLC (she/her and they/them)

Membership Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Olivia

Recruiting and retaining the Society’s diverse membership of professionals comes naturally for Olivia. “I have always been curious about most everything in the field of family planning,” she says. Olivia joined the Society after serving as the founding membership and training coordinator for the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change, a statewide advocacy and technical assistance organization serving survivors of violent crime, particularly those from marginalized communities. “Using an anti-racist lens to learn more about reproductive health disparities and the global experiences of abortion and contraception is deeply important to me.” After graduating Simpson College with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, Olivia became a certified doula (CD), postpartum doula (PPD), and lactation counselor (CLC), eventually starting her own business providing doula services to Black and Queer families. “Science seeks to explain our world,” she says. “Through it, we can discover challenges, solutions, and even more questions to fuel our understanding.” Contact Olivia at, 866.584.6758, ext. 409.

Katie Singh, MSPH (she/her)

Grants Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Katie

In her pursuit of excellence across every phase of the grantmaking lifecycle, Katie draws constant inspiration from the Society’s commitment to just and equitable abortion and contraception. Explains Katie, “Much of my work is focused on expanding access to resources for people and communities that have been historically excluded from research— people of color and people whose knowledge comes from outside of academia.” Prior to joining the Society, Katie was Co-Administrative Director and Community Liaison at Emory University’s Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE). She holds an MSPH degree in Health Policy and Health Services Research from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University. “Traditional definitions of research are rooted in white supremacist notions of what counts as legitimate expertise,” Katie says. “The Society’s concept of research instead seeks to uplift, honor, and value the knowledge that comes from individuals’ and communities’ lived experiences.” Contact Katie at, 866.584.6758, ext. 417.

Margaret Villalonga, BS (she/her)

Senior Clinical Affairs Manager
(eastern time zone)

Contact Margaret

In leading the development, production, and dissemination of clinical guidance for the Society and leveraging the robust expertise of Society members, Margaret takes a wholistic approach. “Clinical guidance is methodologically rigorous,” she says. “Implementing the process itself, however, is often more of an art.” Since earning a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the College of William & Mary, Margaret has spent her career working in healthcare membership organizations and nonprofits. She joins the Society after a decade-long tenure at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists where she most recently served as ACOG’s Director of Obstetrics. In this capacity, she directed a full range of services related to obstetric clinical guidance, including leading the development of different types of guidance from emerging responses to GRADE-based recommendations to consensus statements. “Coming from an obstetrics background, I’m particularly interested in research regarding the intersection of pregnant individuals with increased risk of mortality and morbidity and abortion care and contraceptive counseling,” explains Margaret. Contact Margaret at, 866.584.6758, ext. 404.

Claire Yuan, BA (she/her)

Senior Evaluation Coordinator
(central time zone)

Contact Claire

Claire manages the data platforms for many of the Society’s programs. Before joining the staff of the Society, she worked at the National Office of the Ryan Residency Training Program and the Fellowship in Family Planning. Claire’s passion is for finding ways to apply scientific data to help foster empathy, reduce stigma, and improve access for all people in need of contraception or abortion services. “I am interested in how to best support people who are seeking this care,” says Claire, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Pomona College. “Guided by that question, scientific research allows us to build an evidence base to improve care and inform policy across the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health.” Contact Claire at, 866.584.6758, ext. 420.


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