In The Magazine

Meet our Power Elite: Faye Wattleton

Monday, October 9, 2017

AVENUE’s revamped Power Elite A-List features select New Yorkers who have made the city the epicenter of finance, arts, culture and entertainment. In keeping with our issue’s focus on women’s empowerment, throughout October we’ll profile standout females who have significantly contributed to various aspects of life in New York.

Throughout her career Faye Wattleton has held a number of executive positions, but she is perhaps best known for her role as President of Planned Parenthood from 1978 – 1992.

The making of a good leader or role model doesn’t prescribe any particular skills for Wattleton. “It’s a bit of a misnomer to suggest that there is a formula to being a role model, whether it is for good or for bad, every day of our lives, the way we live our lives, someone is observing us, and someone is hopefully gaining something positive from us, perhaps even inspiration.” Wattleton said.

“I also think the circumstances of the times often defines the kind of leadership that is needed and can be the most effective. I came to the national presidency around the time of the first wave of the religious right, and the capture of the Republican Party by the right wing more than 30 years ago” Wattleton continued. “I doubt that if that had not been a political phenomenon at the time of my appointment, that my leadership would have been the sort that attracts the type of recognition that I’m honored to have.”

Wattleton grew up the daughter of a minister. The passion to make the world a better place for everyone and the courage to stand up and fight for your beliefs were instilled in her from a young age. “I followed and pursued a career in the healthcare field with a dual degree in nursing as a part of, I think, an outgrowth of that foundation of public service.” Wattleton said.

Now working as the executive director of Alvarez and Marsal Wattleton has long career of executive positions including serving on the boards of directors of public companies sich as Estee Lauder Companies (1995 – 2003), WellChoice, Inc. (1993 – 2005), QuidelCorporation (1994 – 2006) and more. She has also a member of the board of trustees for Columbia University. All of these experiences influence her work now.

“I am the head of governance practive and I work on developing business opportunities for Alvarez and Marsal “Wattleton explained. “I’ve had a very diverse career and those experiences inform the work that I do, which is an extension of my executive and governance experience.”

Wattleton’s career of achievements and her dedication to women’s health has landed her on Avenue’s 2017 Power A-List, and to that she says, “I’m surprised, I’m honored and I hope that the recognition will be another opportunity to emphasize the importance of women’s health.”


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