Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) vice president of education, is a widely respected leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health, with over two decades of experience in sex education. Since arriving at PPFA, Ms. Kantor has led efforts to develop innovative, technology-based approaches to sex education, partnered with affiliates to strengthen programs and evaluation, served as a national spokesperson, and spearheaded PPFA’s policy efforts related to sex education. Ms. Kantor has extensive experience training professionals as well as expertise in working directly with children, adolescents, young adults, and parents throughout the United States. Ms. Kantor appears frequently in the media speaking about sexual and reproductive health and has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, The Daily Show with John Stewart, CBS Evening News, NY1News and the Today Show. In addition, she is a member of the faculty at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she teaches "Pedagogy of Sexuality Education." Ms. Kantor’s scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as Sexuality Research and Social Policy, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association and she has published book chapters on adolescent sexual development and sexuality in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Sixth Edition and Epidemiology of Women’s Health. She is a member of the editorial review board for the journal Sex Education. Ms. Kantor has received two prestigious awards from the American Public Health Association (APHA) —the Early Career Award for Excellence from the Population, Reproduction and Sexual Health section and the APHA Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award which is awarded to a public health professional who has “challenged public health practice in a creative and positive manner.” In 2011, the Association of Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE) awarded Ms. Kantor their prestigious “Golden Apple” award for leadership in the field of sexuality education. Ms. Kantor has served on the boards of directors of several of the major organizations in the field of sexual health including the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Answer. She is a past board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and chaired their board committee on community education and leadership development for several years. Ms. Kantor holds a BA magna cum laude from Barnard College, a master's in public health (MPH) from the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and a PhD from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She is also the mother of a teenage son.
PhD, 2015, Columbia University School of Social Work
MPH, 1992, Mailman School of Public Health
BA, 1989, Barnard College
Director, Reproductive and Family Health Track, 2009-2010, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health
Director, Special Projects, 2006-2010 , Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health
Member, Gender-Based Misconduct Prevention Task Force , Columbia University
Honors & Awards
Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award, American Public Health Association, 1996
Young Professional Award, Population, Family Planning & Reproductive Health Section, American Public Health Association, 2002
Golden Apple Award for Leadership in the Field of Sexuality Education, Affiliate Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE), 2011
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Vice President, Education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America : Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Vice President of Education is a widely respected leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health, with over two decades of experience in sex education. Since arriving at PPFA, Ms. Kantor has led efforts to develop innovative, technology-based approaches to sex education, partnered with affiliates to strengthen programs and evaluation, served as a national spokesperson, and spearheaded PPFA?s policy efforts related to sex education. In 2011, Affiliate Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education (APPLE) awarded Ms. Kantor their prestigious Golden Apple award for leadership in the field of sexuality education.
Vice President, Education and Training, Planned Parenthood of New York City : • Provided overall vision and direction to a department of 17 professionals and 35 part-time teen and parent educators with a budget of $1.9 million. • Created research-based programming to reduce adolescent pregnancy and improve sexual health, which received national recognition and funding. • Served on PPNYC’s executive staff, which was responsible for the overall management of the organization’s $19 million annual budget and achievement of agency-wide objectives.
SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US : • Developed new national initiative to promote comprehensive sexuality education and resist efforts to place abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in public schools and worked directly with over 250 communities in 47 states. • Worked closely with national, state, and local organizations and advocates to educate policy makers and organize effectively to improve sexuality education for young people. • Convened key researchers from across the country to explore new approaches to program evaluation.
Kantor, L., Melchiono, M., & Santelli, J. (2012). Adolescent Sexuality/and Sexuality Education. In Emans, S., Laufer, M., & Goldstein, D. (Eds). Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Sixth Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Guilamo-Ramos, V., Lee, J.J., Kantor, L.M., Levine, D.S., Baum,S., & Johnsen, J. (2015). Potential for using online and mobile education with parents and adolescents to impact sexual and reproductive health. Prevention Science, 16 (1), 53-50.
Friedman, A., Brookmeyer, K., Kachur, R., Ford, J., Hogben, M., Habel, M., Kantor, L., Clark, E., Sabatini, J., & McFarlane, M. (2014). An Assessment of the GYT: Get Yourself Tested Campaign: An Integrated Approach to STD Prevention Communication. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 41 (3), 151-7.
Kantor, L., Rolleri, L., & Kolios, K. (2014). Doug Kirby’s Contributions to the Field of Sex Education. Sex Education, 14 (5), 473-480.
Cushman, N., Kantor, L., Schroeder, E., Eicher, L., & Gambone, G. (2014). Sexuality Education: Findings and Recommendations from an Analysis of 10 United States Programmes. Sex Education, 14 (5), 481-496.
Giorgio, M., Kantor, L., Levine, D., &, Arons, W. (2013). Using Chat and Text Technologies to Answer Sexual and Reproductive Health Questions: Planned Parenthood Pilot Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(9).
Kantor, L. (2009). Does Sexuality Education ‘Work’? An Overview of the Research. In Schroeder, E and Kuriansky, J (Eds). Sexuality Education: Past, Present, and Future (125–149). Westport, CT: Praeger.
Santelli, J.S., & Kantor, L.M. (2008). Human Rights, Cultural, and Scientific Aspects of Abstinence-Only Policies and Programs. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 5(3).
Kantor, L., Santelli, J., Teitler, J., Balmer, R. (2008) Abstinence-Only Policies and Programs: An Overview Sexuality Research and Social Policy 5(3).
Kantor, Leslie (2008). Abstinence-Only Education: Violating Students' Rights to Health Information Human Rights 35, 3