Dan Pellegrom’s career in reproductive health spanned more than 4 decades including Presidencies of three different organizations, concluded with a 26-year tenure as President and CEO of Pathfinder International. Pellegrom is widely respected for his experience in both management and advocacy. During his tenure, Pathfinder’s budget grew from $8 million to over $100 million, at which time Pathfinder had offices in twenty countries with more than one thousand employees worldwide. His career at Pathfinder was the longest tenure of anyone serving as the head of a global reproductive health organization.
Pathfinder became only the second US-based organization to receive the United Nations Population Award in 1996. In 2011, Pellegrom was awarded the Union Medal by Union Theological Seminary in New York City; Union does not award honorary Doctorates, hence the Union Medal is its highest honor.
Pellegrom served as executive director of two US-based Planned Parenthood affiliates prior to his Pathfinder tenure. He was executive director of Memphis Planned Parenthood from 1971 to 1975. Soon after the Roe v. Wade decision, it became the first Planned Parenthood in the South to add abortion services. From 1975 to 1985 he was executive director of the statewide Planned Parenthood affiliate in Maryland. Its clinic in Annapolis, Maryland was firebombed in 1984. His leadership amid public controversy is widely respected.
Pellegrom serves or has served on various boards of directors including The Guttmacher Institute, Management Science for Health, Advocates for Youth, Planned Parenthood League of MA, World Neighbors, Provide and is a past board chair of both the Brush Foundation and InterAction. The latter is the largest coalition of US-based humanitarian organizations working abroad. He has written op-ed pieces for The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times as well as provided testimony at Congressional hearings and other public forums.
Soon after concluding his career at Pathfinder, Pellegrom joined ADS Ventures, where consults on issues from fundraising to non-profit management.
In 1968 Pellegrom was the President of the Student Council at Columbia University and provided three days of testimony to the Fact-Finding Commission headed by Archibald Cox, after the student-led revolt at the University.