Join us in congratulating alumnx Rev. Debra Haffner (DMin ’16) on being awarded a Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) — their highest honor! Haffner, along with two other sexual health advocates, was awarded the honor at the WAS’s 26th Congress in Antalya, Turkey.
In their award statement, WAS said, “Debra W. Haffner’s career stands as a beacon in the fields of sexuality education, sexual rights, and reproductive health. She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, seamlessly merging the realms of religion and science in the context of sexual health. Debra has made significant contributions during her tenure as the President of the Sexuality Informaiton and Educaiton Council o the United States (SIECUS). Her advocacy for Comprehensive Sexuality Education and sexual rights has had a lasting impact on policy and public understanding, making her a pivotal figure in sexual health advocacy.”
Haffner has been a nonprofit executive, parish minister, author, educator, trainer, consultant, and public speaker. She was the President and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), the co-founder and President of the Religious Institute, and she has served Unitarian Universalist churches in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY; Westport, CT; Reston, VA; and Santa Cruz County, CA. She is the author of 7 books, including the award winning From Diapers to Dating, which has been translated into 12 languages. She has led the creation of such influential national projects as:
* National Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education,
* National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education,
* Adolescent Sexual Health Commission,
* Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing,
* Safer Sex Best Practices Congregation Initiative
She has a BA from Wesleyan University, an MPH from the Yale School of Medicine, an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary, in addition to a DMin from PSR. She has been a visiting professor at four seminaries, including PSR. Among her many other awards and honors, she has received the highest alumni recognition awards from the Yale School of Public Health and Union Theological Seminary. In 2011, Widener University awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Public Service for her lifetime of work in sexuality education.
The World Association for Sexual Health is the preeminent global organization representing professionals working in Sexual Health and Rights as Healthcare Providers, Activists, and Educators.