Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains CEO announces retirement

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DENVER – Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President & CEO Vicki Cowart announced her retirement after serving the organization for 18 years.

During her tenure, PPRM built a powerful coalition in Colorado to defeat four anti-abortion ballot initiatives (2008, 2010, 2014, 2020) and in 2013, to defeat the first-ever city ballot initiative to limit access to abortion care in Albuquerque, N.M.  

“I am proud and honored to have served in this role,” Cowart said. “Today, people around the region and the nation are looking to Planned Parenthood as a safe haven for reproductive health care. Thanks to our staff, board, donors, and patients, and the work we’ve all done together, PPRM is stronger and more critical than ever and is poised to rise to the challenges of this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.” 

PPRM which serves Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming delivers high-quality, compassionate reproductive and sexual health care, teaches complete, age-appropriate, inclusive sex education and works diligently to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion care.

Since the Texas abortion ban, the organization has seen a rise in caring for a 130% increase in patients traveling from the state seeking safe, legal abortion care. 

“We are grateful to Vicki for her tremendous leadership over the years,” Julia Alvarez, chair of PPRM’s board of directors, said. “And thanks to her leadership, our organization is well-prepared to meet the needs of patients from our region and beyond well into the future.” 

Cowart will lead PPRM until the next President & CEO is selected.

In 2014, Cowart was chosen by her Planned Parenthood CEO peers to receive the 2014 Ruth Green Award. After the deadly shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs, Cowart represented the people of PPRM to receive awards honoring the organization’s resilience and courage from several groups including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Abortion Federation, Colorado NARAL and the Anti-Defamation League.

Before joining PPRM, Cowart built a 33-year career and a national reputation as a geoscientist with a 16-year career in the oil and gas industry and 10 years as the Colorado State Geologist and Director of the Colorado Geological Survey. She has also served as President of the Association of American State Geologists and completed two terms as a Colorado Governor appointee as a Trustee of the Colorado School of Mines.

In 2010, she received the prestigious Ian Campbell Award from the American Geological Institute and earned a BS degree in physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute of Worcester, Mass. (1975) and an MS degree in geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines (1977).

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