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SIECUS Announces New Staff for Policy, Programming and Strategy

November 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change announces four new staff members for policy, programming and strategy: Jaclyn Friedman as Vice President of Strategy, Alison Macklin as State Policy and Advocacy Director; Michelle Hope Slaybaugh as Director of Programs; and Nawal Umar as Policy Analyst. 

“I am excited to welcome our passionate and amazing new staff Jaclyn, Alison, Michelle, and Nawal to our growing SIECUS team,” said Christine Soyong Harley, SIECUS: Sex Ed For Social Change President and CEO. “With the help of our new hires, we will be able to expand our reach across state and federal levels to progress comprehensive sex education and fight back against policies that limit the information youth will receive, and autonomy they have with regards to their own bodies. 

Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, educator, activist and creator of four books focused on sexual freedom and consent. As SIECUS Vice President of Strategy and the Executive Director of EducateUS: SIECUS In Action, she will lead SIECUS overarching strategic priorities and affiliation efforts in alignment with “sex ed for social change” policy and legislative goals. Her podcast, Unscrewed, was named one of the Best Sex Podcasts by both Marie Claire and Esquire. Friedman’s work popularized the “yes means yes” standard of sexual consent that has been implemented on many US campuses and made law in numerous states and countries.

Alison Macklin, MSW, is a national leader in the comprehensive sex education field for over 18 years. In 2019, she helped author and pass Colorado’s Youth Wellness Act, ensuring young people in that state are able to access inclusive comprehensive sex education. As SIECUS State Policy and Advocacy Director, she will provide innovative and strategic guidance to state and local communities looking to advance comprehensive sex education. Previously Macklin served as a consultant for SIECUS on and was the Vice President of Education, Innovation, and HIV Programs of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Macklin is the internationally published author of the book Making Sense of It: A Guide to Sex for Teens (and Their Parents, Too) and adjunct professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

Michelle Hope Slaybaugh is a dedicated Sexologist, educator, and activist with a Master’s degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and extensive post-graduate training in sexuality. As SIECUS Director of Programs, she will lead SIECUS’ efforts to ground our work in social impact and program solutions at the intersection of gender justice, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ liberation. Prior to her role as the Director of Programs for SIECUS she served a pivotal role developing the reproductive health program at the Harlem Children’s Zone. Additionally, she founded Mixed Moxie a social impact firm focusing on the expansion of comprehensive sex education, reproductive justice and sexual health equity for all people.

Nawal Umar is a sex educator and health educator with experience in qualitative public health research.  As a SIECUS Policy Analyst, she will be responsible for tracking and monitoring state, local and federal policies and impending legislation related to sex education and other progressive sexual and reproductive health issues. She is also responsible for developing and managing several SIECUS publications and providing general assistance and support towards advancing key initiatives at SIECUS. Nawal holds a Masters in Public Health degree and a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual, and Reproductive Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

SIECUS is beyond thrilled to grow our team during this pivotal moment in the fight to defend the right to comprehensive sex education, and with team members who bring diverse lived experiences and deep professional expertise as passionate sex educators and sexologists.

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SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for more than 55 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.