The National Campaign Celebrates Founding Board Members Governor Thomas Kean and Dr. Isabel Sawhill

Oct 31 2017

(Washington, DC)—After more than 20 years of service, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow, Dr. Isabel Sawhill will step down from their roles as Chair and President, respectively, of the Board of Directors of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign).

At an event held last night to celebrate their remarkable 21 years of service, both Kean and Sawhill were awarded the Sarah S. Brown Award for Innovation in Pregnancy Planning & Prevention. This annual award honors innovative leaders who have been strong, smart, and bold in making significant contributions to The National Campaign’s mission.

“It is almost impossible to overstate the contributions Tom and Belle have made to The National Campaign’s impact, and to the tremendous reductions in teen pregnancy and birth rates in this country,” said co-founder and former CEO Sarah Brown. “It was a unique privilege to work alongside such devoted, gifted, and smart leaders when building The National Campaign. Their commitment to being research-based, strategic, innovative, and respectful of various points-of-view was paramount to the Campaign’s and the nation’s success.”

When The National Campaign was founded 21 years ago, teen pregnancy and birth rates had skyrocketed, and many experts considered the issue intractable. Supported by the vision and dedication of leaders like Kean and Sawhill, teen birth rates are now at the lowest level in recorded U.S. history, which reflects an unprecedented 67% decline in teen births over the past two decades. There have been significant declines in all 50 states and among all racial, ethnic, and economic groups. In addition, between 2008 and 2011, the rate of unplanned pregnancy for women in their early 20s decreased by 22%.

“It has been a tremendous personal honor and pleasure to have worked with Governor Kean and Dr. Sawhill. The National Campaign has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had these distinguished and dedicated leaders of our Board for so long,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign. “There is no doubt that the unprecedented declines in the teen and unplanned pregnancy rates in this nation are partly due to the historic and significant work of Governor Kean and Belle Sawhill.”

Isabel Sawhill is a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Intuition. She served as Vice President and Director of the Economic Studies program from 2003 to 2006. She also was co-Director of the Center on Children and Families. Before joining Brookings, Dr. Sawhill was a Senior Fellow at The Urban Institute and served in the Clinton Administration as an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.

Governor Kean served two terms as the 48th governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990 and was appointed by President George W. Bush as chairperson of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission. In addition, he also served as the president of Drew University.

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit us at or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.