Person headshot in purple shirt

Ilyse Hogue

President

Pronouns: she / her

Ilyse Hogue is a fierce advocate for justice and a leader, innovator and coalition builder across American and global progressive movements. As Purpose’s President, Ilyse supports the global team of passionate changemakers and steers strategic planning and development. A trained ecologist, she approaches social change from a systems perspective, looking to identify gaps and points of leverage at which to intervene and proactively anticipating trends where Purpose can apply knowledge and capacity to address emerging threats.

Ilyse, who has spent over a quarter century waging fights on behalf of humanity and our planet, most recently served in an eight-year tenure as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, during which she helped transform the legacy organization into a modern-day organizing and political powerhouse. Under her leadership, NARAL tripled its membership, staff and annual budget in service advancing state and federal legislation to protect and expand abortion access, and fighting an unprecedented wave of abortion bans at the state level. She helped to position reproductive freedom as a central tenet of progressive politics and to engage organizations cross-movement in support of the full spectrum of reproductive freedoms being fundamental human rights. In doing this, they achieved what was said to be impossible: engaging the private sector in the fight to protect abortion access. 

In 2016, Ilyse made history when she became the first speaker to share her abortion story at the Democratic National Convention. In 2020, she co-authored a best-selling book, The Lie That Binds, with former NARAL Research Director Ellie Langford on the history of the radical right, its authoritarian aims, and its reliance on white supremacy, misogyny and disinformation. Her commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE. She is a frequent guest in the media, appearing as a progressive pundit on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. She also spoke to popular New York Times podcast The Daily about the interlocking fights against dissolution of democracy, undercutting reproductive freedom and justice and disinformation. 

Prior to her work for NARAL, Ilyse worked for MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Media Matters for America, and the Friends of Democracy PAC. She holds a BA from Vassar College, an MS from the University of Michigan, and was named as one of the 10 Most Powerful Women in Washington DC by Elle Magazine. She currently serves on the boards of Demand Justice, a court reform organization, and Governing for Impact.

When not at work, Ilyse can be found spending time with her husband, six-year-old twins, and two dogs Ranger Rooster and Little Yellin. She’s an avid hiker, biker, and home cook, and an aspiring gardener.