Gillian Tisdale

#PolicyProfile: Gillian Tisdale, MPA '24

Jul 01 2024
By Brittany N. Murray
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

"I developed an interest in advocacy at a young age, attending my first protest at the age of 8. As a teenager, I became deeply involved in local LGBTQ+ organizations, including canvassing for signatures and running phone banks. Throughout college, I fundraised for organizations such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during summers and while on breaks.

After graduating from Smith College, I launched a career in healthcare market strategy, seeking impactful ways to drive broader positive change. I am passionate about reproductive justice because I believe that full bodily autonomy is critical to any vision of equality. I explored different avenues within the private sector to create meaning in my work, eventually leading product marketing at Ovia Health so that I could hyperfocus on that passion. I loved working there and strongly believe in their product, helping women receive excellent fertility, maternity, and postpartum care. Still, I became frustrated that not everyone has access to these innovative products.

I continue to believe that business has a critical role to play in innovating new approaches. Yet, there are limitations to what degree the private sector can realistically provide market-based solutions that counteract structural access disparities. After Ovia was acquired by LabCorp, I took the position of Director of Product Marketing for Wellthy, a much-needed caregiver support solution. My time there reaffirmed that a pivot to the public sector made sense for me.

I came to Princeton SPIA to gain the foundational skills I need to successfully create and enact public policy that facilitates lasting, institutional change. I had the opportunity while at SPIA to utilize these skills during my summer internship at American Progress. I want my career to make a difference and am prepared and excited to wade through data, gather first-person accounts, convince stakeholders, and draft policy to improve health equity.”

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