Linda Williams, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM), speaks with Lisa Van Dusen about the challenges of leading the nation's largest Planned Parenthood affiliate. Over Williams' 22-year tenure, PPMM has grown from a one-county, five-health-center operation to a primary health-care provider serving 42 counties in two states with 36 full-service, full-time and 12 part-time centers. Ninety-seven percent of PPMM's services are preventive.
Williams, a Palo Alto resident, studied rhetoric at the University of Illinois -- a skill she regularly uses to articulate the importance of PPMM's services. Williams played Mrs. Santa Claus in her first grade class play, selected not for her stage presence but because "she was the fattest girl in her class." Now, a slight 113 lb. and 5'5" tall, Williams routinely finds herself on stage as a tireless advocate for primary health care, sex education and a woman's right to reproductive self-determination.
Interview by Lisa Van Dusen. Video by Rachel Hatch.