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Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE
Kathryn (Katie) Schubert joined the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) as President and CEO in April 2020. Under Katie’s leadership SWHR developed a strategic plan focused on fulfilling the organization’s mission of promoting research on biological sex differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. She previously worked for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), where she served as the organization’s chief advocacy officer, growing SMFM’s role nationally and building its reputation in women’s health.
Katie is a trusted leader and consensus builder among women’s health stakeholders, particularly in the policy arena. She has served in multiple Board roles for nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC-area, including as Chair of the Board of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance and as advisor to the John E. Lewy Fund for Children’s Health. She is a past president of Women in Government Relations.
Prior to SMFM, Katie served as senior vice president at CRD Associates, where she advised clients — including nonprofit patient advocacy groups, medical professional organizations, and private companies — on government relations and public policy related to health and biomedical research issues, among others. She has also spent time working in key legislative roles on Capitol Hill. She received her BA from Mary Washington College and her Masters of Public Policy from George Washington University. Katie lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and dog George.
Donna Klassen, LCSW
Donna is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years of experience. Her areas of practice include trauma, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to her private practice, Donna served as admissions and clinical director at The Motherhood Center of New York from 2017-2020, and has held supervisory roles at SUNY Stony Brook, the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services, and Safespace.
At 52, Donna was diagnosed with estrogen-positive breast cancer. During pre-mastectomy testing, two large cysts on her ovaries were discovered, which necessitated an oophorectomy (the removal of her ovaries), prior to her double mastectomy. Before these surgeries, Donna had experienced irritability and joint pain as part of perimenopause. Post-surgeries, she was put on an aromatase inhibitor, a drug category that blocks estrogen production and greatly reduces the risk of cancer recurrence. She immediately became postmenopausal and began to drown in symptoms—hot flashes, exhaustion, irritability, brain fog, and heart palpitations. She was disheartened that even her gynecological oncologist failed to offer any medical guidance around medically or surgically induced menopause. But Donna knew that she needed help and she knew how to get it. She assembled a support system to address her physical, psychological, and emotional needs. In this process, she grew increasingly aware of how important—and how uncommon—such support is for women, regardless of how they enter menopause.
Through her work as a clinician and director at The Motherhood Center of New York, Donna experienced the impact of education, community, and public awareness on illuminating shrouded issues such as infertility and postpartum depression. She saw first-hand the life-changing—sometimes life-saving—effects this advocacy had on lifting stigma. She knows the same work needs to be done to push menopause out of the shadows and into the light.