Gretchen Sisson

Gretchen is a research sociologist with ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health), a “think and do” tank at the University of California, San Francisco. Her work focuses on issues of parenthood, reproductive health, and social justice, including teen pregnancy and parenthood, adoption, abortion, and infertility.

Gretchen graduated in 2006 from Amherst College with degrees in psychology and women’s and gender studies before heading to Boston College to study sociology for graduate school.  In 2007, she was awarded the Severyn Bruyn Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Economy and Social Justice for her paper The Power and Uses of Sonogram Imagery in Contemporary Visual Culture, and later received the Benedict S. Alper Fellowship for demonstrating engaged critical scholarship toward social justice issues.  Gretchen completed her doctorate in May 2011, with her dissertation entitled Parenthood as Privilege: The Cultural Tensions of Acceptable Reproduction.

Gretchen currently serves on the board of directors for Backline, an organization promoting unconditional support for decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. She has previously worked as the communications manager for the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and as a volunteer with the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion (EMA) Fund.

In addition to her academic and activist work, Gretchen is an alumna of the inaugural class of Bay Area Pipeline Fellows, investing in women-led, for-profit social ventures.