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Ruth Wooden, Former President of Public Agenda and the Advertising Council, Elected to Board of Directors of The Partnership at Drugfree.org

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New York, NY (February 8, 2011) – the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is pleased to announce the election of Ruth A. Wooden to its Board of Directors. From 2003 to 2009, Wooden served as President of Public Agenda, a nonprofit organization that works to help average citizens better understand critical policy issues and to aid the nation’s leaders in comprehending the public’s point of view. As president, she was responsible for the organization’s day-to-day leadership, strategic planning and relationship growth.

“Our Board of Directors plays an integral role not only in the governance, but also in making certain the life changing and life saving work of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids remains focused and effective,” said Patricia Russo, Chairman. “Ruth made an immediate impression on me with her deep understanding of our mission, can do attitude and bright ideas on new directions we can pursue. She is certain to have a positive impact in her work with the board and our staff.”

“I am very committed to the organization’s efforts to help families coping with teen substance abuse. The prevalence of this problem is so pervasive and parents need the resources available at drugfree.org,” explained Wooden. “There’s no better source for this type of support. I am excited to get the word out to further raise awareness about this cause.”

Prior to her appointment as Public Agenda’s President, she was Senior Counselor at the international communications firm, Porter Novelli, from September 2001 to August 2003. Client assignments included the American Legacy Foundation, the March of Dimes, the National Cancer Institute and The American Association of Gastroenterologists. Before joining Porter Novelli, she served as volunteer President and Chief Executive Officer of The National Parenting Association, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization in New York.

From July 1999 to March 2000, she served as the volunteer coordinator of The Crystal Team, the “Madison Avenue” advertising team for the presidential campaign of Senator Bill Bradley.

Wooden has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and advertising and served for 12 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Advertising Council, the leading producer of public service communications programs in the United States. She was responsible for senior management of the more than 30 annual campaigns produced by the organization, including Teen Alcohol Prevention, the United Negro College Fund, the Department of Transportation (seat belt safety, drunk driving prevention), the American Red Cross and the National Crime Prevention Coalition.

Earlier in her career, Wooden held a variety of senior management and consumer brand management positions with N.W. Ayer Advertising and the Ralston Purina Company.

“Ruth brings incredible passion to our work and a deep appreciation for the challenges a family faces when confronted with teen drug and alcohol use,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “With her proven track record of leadership, we are excited to have her insight. Ruth’s direct involvement will be invaluable as we build an advocacy effort that unites parents, scientists, treatment professionals and people in recovery behind a concerted effort to get those in need the appropriate help and the support they deserve.”

An active professional within both the commercial and nonprofit sectors, Wooden currently serves on the boards of Civic Ventures (Chair), Demos, Independent Sector, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, TeachersCount and Public Agenda.

She has been the recipient of numerous business and philanthropic awards including the Maxwell Dane Humanitarian Award (United Jewish Appeal); Advertising Woman of the Year-1996 (Advertising Women of New York); Prudential Prize in Non-Profit Leadership and the Matrix Award -1994 (New York Women in Communications).

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