Senior Staff

Mayra-FerreiraMayra J. Ferreira is Chief Operating Officer and has overall strategic and operational responsibility for all Physicians for Reproductive Health program areas (Education, Research, and Training; Leadership Training Academy; Public Policy; Communications; and Development). This position also supports the finance division as assigned by the President/CEO. She joined Physicians for Reproductive Health as the Director of Medical Education in August of 2007. Prior to that, she worked for the Fulton County Schools System in Atlanta, GA, creating comprehensive health education programs for parents and adolescents in partnership with the community. For 12 years before that, Mayra was the Director of Health Care and Distance Education at the Consortium for Worker Education in New York City. In that position, she re-engineered New York City hospitals under the Health Care Workforce Retraining Initiative, developing medicine and allied health education programs for unions’ training and upgrading funds. Mayra extended this initiative to hospital systems in Buffalo, New York, conducting training and hospital re-engineering via videoconference and distance education. Mayra was an aerospace medic in the United States Air Force. She holds a Masters of Public Health from Hunter College’s School of Urban Public Health, the lead institution in the CUNY School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Barnard College.


Bob PillerBob Piller is Vice President and General Counsel and is responsible for providing leadership in legal and strategic efforts at Physicians for Reproductive Health. Bob has been with Physicians since 2009, and currently is heading up legislative drafting activities for the Patients Reproductive Health Act initiative. Bob has held senior executive positions in the advanced technology industry and in the nonprofit sector. He designed state-of-the-art government supported technology networks and consulted for technology firms that offered technology equipment to schools and libraries in the federal E-Rate program. For over 20 years, Bob served as Director and General Counsel at the Public Utility Law Project, a public-interest law firm representing the interests of workers and low-income utility, energy, and telecommunications users. A graduate of Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Law School, Bob has taught law school courses on regulated industries and administrative law.


Ellen Barker is Senior Director of Development at Physicians for Reproductive Health and oversees all of the organization’s fundraising efforts in support of its programs and services. She first joined the Physicians staff in 1998 as a freelance grants writer, going on to become the organization’s first director of institutional giving, and then director of development. She left Physicians in 2006 to work as an independent fundraising consultant and then serve as the manager of the Children’s Aid Society’s Go! Healthy Program, where she ran culinary and urban gardening programs for NYC youth. She returned to Physicians in 2013 to direct its institutional gifts program once again. Ellen has over 25 years of experience fundraising for a variety of NYC nonprofits. She chairs the Alliance of Resident Theatres/NY annual grant panels for Off-Broadway theatres, and has worked as a consultant for the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Ellen has a bachelor’s degree in languages and literature from Bard College.


Jenny-cropJennifer Blasdell was appointed the Senior Director for Public Policy in 2014. She joined Physicians for Reproductive Health in 2011 as the Government Relations Director. Based in Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Washington, DC, office, Jennifer is responsible for advocacy and communications strategies. Physicians for Reproductive Health doctors routinely publish letters to the editors in national and local papers, write blogs and op-eds, and are available to the media as experts for interviews. Physicians for Reproductive Health has a vibrant public policy program, advocating at the national and state levels for access to comprehensive reproductive health care. Our physicians have testified before state legislatures, federal agencies, and have briefed members of Congress on reproductive health care issues. Most recently, the organization brought physicians to Washington, DC, to advocate for the Shaheen Amendment, legislation that lifted the longstanding ban on abortion coverage for service women who were pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Prior to coming to Physicians for Reproductive Health, Jennifer was the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and was the Director of Public Policy at the National Abortion Federation. Jennifer is a graduate of the University North Carolina School of Law. She also attended the University of North Carolina as an undergraduate where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a minor in Spanish, graduating with honors.


Anita Brakman was appointed Senior Director for Education, Research, and Training  in 2012, but first joined Physicians for Reproductive Health in 2007 as Medical Education Manager. Anita oversees all of the organization’s efforts to train physicians in best practices for reproductive and sexual health as well as in the skills needed to become effective advocates. Most recently, she facilitated production of the fourth edition of the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program Curriculum and oversaw the Leadership Training Academy‘s 2012 expansion. Prior to coming to Physicians for Reproductive Health, Anita worked at a variety of reproductive health organizations including the National Abortion Federation, Sexuality Information and Education Council for the U.S., and Center for Reproductive Health Education in Family Medicine. She holds a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from the New School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from New York University.


MaryAliceCarterMary Alice Carter was appointed the Senior Director for Communications in July 2013, overseeing the organization’s extensive communications efforts. Physicians for Reproductive Health representatives are leading advocates for science and medicine in the reproductive health debate. Physicians brings doctors’ voices to local and national media, routinely providing experts for television and radio shows, publishing opinion pieces, and providing valuable insight and background to reporters. Physicians also influences debate through multiple social media platforms and campaigns.  Prior to coming to Physicians for Reproductive Health, Mary Alice was at NARAL Pro-Choice New York/National Institute for Reproductive Health for nearly a decade, where she advanced through several positions, most recently serving as their Vice President for Communications. She has published op-eds in several media outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN, and has served as a repeat guest on national news shows including The O’Reilly Factor, The Neil Cavuto Show, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. She has also worked for several progressive nonprofits and political campaigns as a communications specialist and fundraising professional. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.