Kelly McClure

2017 Winner

Position: Special Assistant and Policy Fellow
Organization: The White House
Current Location: United States, North America

Bachelor of Science from Cornell University

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Sociology of Health of Ethnic Minorities

Awards Received:

Generation-Indigenous Youth Fellow
Awarding Organization:
Center for Native American Youth
Date Awarded:
July 1, 2015

Outstanding Youth Policy Advocate
Awarding Organization:
Two-Spirit ALLI
Date Awarded:
January 22, 2017

Youth Delegate
Awarding Organization:
United Nations, Second Annual Youth Forum, at the 61st session on the Commission on the Status of Women
Date Awarded:
March 17, 2017

Kelly McClure is a Special Assistant and Policy Fellow at the White House. Kelly earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Yale Law School, where she served as a Coker Fellow and a student Co-Director of the Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic. At Yale, Kelly was the recipient of the Switzer Fellowship, Wyss Scholarship and MALDEF Scholarship, among others. Kelly received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.

“Kelly is leading the charge in destigmatizing family planning across Indian Country. Her work empowers native LGBT youth and women to reclaim their reproductive destiny, despite decades of forced sterilization and abuse of natives by health providers

– Jonathan Windy Boy, Montana State Representative of House District 32 / Former Senator Emeritus at Montana State Senate, Montana State House of Representatives

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

In 2016 and 2017, I partnered with Planned Parenthood to draft and file legislation known as the FL Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The bill makes it a crime to “intentionally injure, intimidate or interfere with patients and providers of reproductive health care services.” When it goes into effect, it will protect millions of patients who seek reproductive services in Florida every year. As an aide, I have also helped fight proposed laws that sought to limit funding or restrict access to reproductive rights and services.

Over the last 5 years I have also facilitated dozens of public policy and advocacy workshops to empower Native American youth with the tools to effectively petition government agencies and officials on policy issues surrounding reproductive justice.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

As recent as the 1960’s, thousands of indigenous women were subjected to forced sterilization by the U.S. Indian Health Services Program. This history of unethical treatment has directly contributed to the fears and stigmas many of my community members feel toward government entities and health providers to this day.

These past injustices have fueled my commitment to not only destigmatize topics such as contraception and planning, but to use public policy to prevent future abuses.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

As a young government professional, I have made it my mission to use my platform and institutional knowledge to help fellow youth participate in the legislative process. Every year, I recruit and train thousands of youth to plan lobbying events, organize political campaigns, provide testimony on reproductive issues before legislative committees, and provide internships.

Additionally, I use my position to secure policies that protect vulnerable patients and providers across Florida.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

Technology platforms have allowed me to connect with youth in remote locations worldwide. As a grant recipient, I would purchase a high-capacity laptop and software to create a free and easily accessible electronic ‘Government 101’ toolkit and platform for youth. It would allow me to expand my outreach exponentially and to begin working with more of my peers abroad. The goal would be to engage over 30,000 youth.