Meet our Staff
Élan McAllister, Executive Director
Élan McAllister, is a DONA trained doula with over 25 years of feminist activist experience. Élan founded Choices in Childbirth in 2004 to raise women’s awareness about their childbirth rights and options, respond to the urgent need for mother-friendly childbirth services, and lead evidence-based systems reform within the maternity care field. As CiC’s Board President from 2004-2011, Élan provided vision and leadership and helped create CiC’s core areas of public education, consumer advocacy, and systems reform programming. In 2012, Élan became the organizations’s Executive Director. Additionally, as a Tony-award winning Broadway producer, Élan brings a wealth of communications and media expertise to the birth field, helping to forward issues related to maternity care reform to mainstream audiences. Élan has a B.A. in Gender and Sexuality Studies from New York University and has studied with the Alvin Aliley American Dance Theatre.
Khushbu Srivastava, Director of Program Development
Khushbu joined CiC in October 2012 and her responsibilities include garnering a diversified portfolio of multi-year funding; expanding programmatic impact in underserved communities; and communicating CiC’s work to strategic policy and media audiences. With 11 years of experience leading gender and social justice advocacy efforts, Khushbu has helped design, implement, and evaluate reproductive health and maternal child programs across 13 countries over 3 continents. As a gender consultant, she has worked with diverse organizations to develop pioneering gender empowerment programs. She has an undergraduate degree in International Relations and French from Wellesley College and a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Nan Strauss, Director of Policy and Research
Nan served as the Director of Maternal Health Research and Policy with Amnesty International USA, where she worked on maternal and reproductive health and health care, and the right to health. She was the lead researcher and co-author of the groundbreaking report, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA in 2010. Nan was involved in campaigning, policy, advocacy, and media efforts associated with the project following its publication, including developing and strengthening federal and state legislation to improve maternal health. Prior to joining Amnesty, Nan worked as a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she litigated cases in federal court. A graduate of Yale University, Nan earned her J.D. from New York University Law School, after which she clerked for the Honorable Cheryl L. Pollak, A United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
Clare Friedrich, BoBB:CE Program Manager
Clare is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, prenatal yoga instructor, occasional doula, and mom to a rambunctious toddler. She is passionate about influencing the maternal healthcare system positively and making sure that families feel confident about their options. Prior to working at Choices in Childbirth, Clare was an education planner for an architecture firm designing K-12 schools, a health education consultant for the NYC Department of Education, and a qualitative researcher at Columbia University Medical College’s Center for Student Wellness. She has a B.A. in Environmental Design from the University of Missouri, an M.S in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and is currently pursuing an M.A in Health Education at Teachers College Columbia University. Her research in maternal health is being used to develop a culturally relevant maternal health literacy web application.
Jayne Chu, Operations Associate
Jayne has a diverse background that includes work in media, culture and the arts, sexual reproductive health, and international public health. Through this spectrum she has always been committed to applying her range of experience to forward social justice and rights-based issues. At CiC, Jayne is dedicated to serving the community in which she lives, and currently handles the day to day administrative and financial tasks of the organization. She lived and worked for a number of years in rural communities across South East Asia, witnessing the lasting power of grassroots momentum and the mammoth changes a single person can set into action. Jayne also has a strong passion for the arts, and freelance illustrates in her spare time. Jayne has a B.A. from Barnard College and a Msc in Anthropology and Developmental Economics from The London School of Economics.
Milon & Neil © Alice Garik