Press release


January 7, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) — Power to Decide is pleased to announce the addition of two members to its Board of Directors: Former U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent, Senior Policy Advisor for DLA Piper and Geralyn Ritter, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary at Merck & Co., Inc. 

“Charlie and Geralyn bring new dimensions to an already diverse, dedicated and talented Board. We are delighted to welcome them and look forward to their contributions to our work,” said Stephen Weiswasser, Chairman, Power to Decide Board of Directors.

Charlie Dent recently joined DLA Piper after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms representing the 15th District of Pennsylvania. Drawing on his diversified experience and background, he provides strategic advice and counsel to clients on the federal, state and local level on subjects including, but not limited to defense, life sciences, transportation, homeland security, infrastructure, health issues, energy and international investment, trade and commerce. During his tenure in Congress, he served on the House Committee on Appropriations, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agency. He was also the chair of the House Ethics Committee from 2015 to 2017.

“I’m excited to be part of an organization so dedicated to families and women’s health. Power to Decide’s programs help empower women to make informed decisions about their health and families’ future. I look forward to participating on the Board to assist in some small way to help make this outstanding organization even more effective than it already is,” Dent said.

Geralyn Ritter is Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary at Merck & Co., Inc. In this role, she is responsible for corporate governance and counsels the company’s Board of Directors. From 2008-2014, Ritter served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Merck and President of the Merck Foundation, and she was responsible for leading the development and launch of Merck for Mothers, a major philanthropic initiative dedicated to preventing maternal mortality. Prior to joining Merck, Ritter was Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington, D.C. She also practiced law at the Washington law firm Covington & Burling and served for three years in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President. 

“I am delighted to join the board of such an effective and important organization dedicated to fostering healthy families through innovative programs that provide access to accurate information and quality health care, helping young people make informed decisions about their future,” said Geralyn Ritter.

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.