Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has chosen a new president and chief executive officer to succeed Peter Brownlie, who retired two months ago.
Laura McQuade has served for the past six years as chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, based in New York. The organization more than doubled its budget and staff during her tenure, according to a news release announcing her appointment.
“When we first discovered Laura, we were all struck by her brilliance, her astounding commitment to our mission and work and her eagerness to lead the organization on its next journey,” PPKM Chairman Jackie Johnson said in the release.
Brownlie had served as the organization’s head since 1999. He previously led Planned Parenthood affiliates in South Bend, Ind., and Fort Worth, Texas.
During his tenure, Brownlie faced numerous challenges to the legality of abortion in both Kansas and Missouri.
“It was a difficult time, yet I knew and our board knew and our whole organization – our supporters – knew, that we had to prevail in that fight. It was important to stop that kind of attack before it could spread,” Brownlie told KCUR's Steve Kraske in an October 2013 interview.
Topeka physician George Tiller, who performed abortions, was shot and killed while Brownlie headed the organization.
“There is risk involved in providing the kind of service we provide, and that made that risk very, very real,” Brownlie told Kraske.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri operates nine clinics. It was founded in 1935.
Before joining the Center for Reproductive Rights, McQuade was managing director of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, chief financial and operating officer at the Foundation for a Civil Society and program officer at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
She assumes her new position on July 1.