Diana Philip has been working in a variety of 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations for over 35 years to protect and advance civil liberties and human rights.
Born and raised in Indiana outside of Chicago, Diana earned her B.A. in criminal justice and sociology at Indiana University, with internships in research, activism, and lobbying. She began her career as a crisis intervention specialist and legal advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking, and continued that work after she moved to Texas in 1992. Diana often balanced opportunities to work or volunteer in both direct services and systems advocacy across different issues, such as developing legislation with the Public Policy Committee at the Texas Council on Family Violence, fielding calls while offering training and technical assistance with the Youth Runaway Hotline, forming a violence against women task force for the Texas National Organization for Women, and engaging in education campaigns and impact litigation as the North Regional Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Launching projects and nonprofits to address complex and controversial issues soon became a passion. Diana became the founding executive director of Jane’s Due Process, in reaction to the 1999Texas law mandating parental involvement of minors seeking abortion care with judicial bypass. As director of the Legal Advocacy Initiative for the Women's Advocacy Project, she sought to improve the criminal justice and civil court systems’ responses to gender-based violence. After experience gained in assisting youth and crime victims accessing abortion care and working as a patient advocate at Whole Women’s Health, Diana moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as interim director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers and the Abortion Conversation Project. She soon launched a new nonprofit in 2008, the Abortion Care Network, to support and meet the needs of independent providers across the nation. After moving to Baltimore to finish her M.S.in Women’s and Gender Studies at Towson University, she served as the first policy director for the LGBTQ rights group, FreeState Legal, founding board director of the Baltimore Abortion Fund (after serving as board treasurer for the DC Abortion Fund), and most recently, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.
From 2015 to 2021, Diana engaged in policy reform coalition building and lobbying the Maryland General Assembly, with 11 original bills introduced and 6 passed into law. Under her leadership, the MD NARAL affiliate was often seen and heard on hundreds of bills reflecting many intersections of the reproductive freedom movement, such as healthcare access, racial justice, immigrant rights, criminal justice reform, climate change, education reform, equal access to transportation, housing stability, and economic security, as well as those pertaining to the rights of workers, youth, the poor, the incarcerated, those with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. During her tenure, many ground-breaking projects were launched, such as the Reproductive Justice Inside coalition, the Maryland Abortion Access Alliance, and the Jonathan Shurberg Policy and Legal Research Intern Program. Just like many progressive organizations since the 2016 elections, MD NARAL became more involved with voting rights with allies such as CASA in Action, Progressive Maryland, and Everyone Votes Maryland.
Diana is a proud Baltimorean, and is always seeking ways to support and encourage people to engage in advocacy. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women, Skatepark of Baltimore, and MOMCares, as well as co-chair of the Bodily Autonomy Workgroup for the People’s Commission to Decriminalize Maryland.