Ellen Chesler

Ellen Chesler is a senior fellow at The Open Society Institute, the international foundation founded by George Soros. From 1997 through 2004, she directed the foundation’s $35 million program in reproductive health and rights and now advises on a range of other grant making and policy development concerns. She is the author of the highly-regarded Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America, for which she was awarded PEN’s 1993 Martha Albrand citation for the year’s best first work of non-fiction, and she is co-editor of Where Human Rights Begin: Health, Sexuality and Women in the New Millennium (2005). From 1997 to 2003, she chaired the board of the International Women’s Health Coalition. She now chairs the Advisory Committee of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, and also serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Foundation. Early in her career she served as chief of staff to New York City Council President Carol Bellamy, the first woman ever elected to serve in a citywide office in New York. An honors graduate of Vassar College, Chesler earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in history at Columbia University.

Articles by this author

Lena Levine

Lena Levine used her medical and psychological training to offer women pioneering services for birth control, sex education, and marital counseling. She co-founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1948 and wrote best-selling advice books about women’s sexual fulfillment that championed equality for women in marriage.

Birth Control Movement in the United States: 1912-1960

In the 1910s, Margaret Sanger began the family planning movement in the United States. While Sanger was not Jewish, Jews had an enormous impact on her activism, and her activism indelibly shaped the lives of Jewish women in America.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ellen Chesler." (Viewed on May 30, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/chesler-ellen>.