Introducing Our New Executive Director!

Dear PTBi Community,

It gives me tremendous pleasure to be able to share with you that, beginning July 1st, Alexis Cobbins will become The California Preterm Birth initiative’s new Executive Director. The PTBi team and I could not be more thrilled. CONGRATULATIONS, ALEXIS!!!

As many of you know, Alexis has been an instrumental part of the PTBi family since our early days when she became an inaugural member of our Community Advisory Board (CAB). Three years later, Alexis joined our core leadership team as the Associate Program Director and then took on the role of Interim Program Director in February, following the departure of our former program director, Quin Hussey, who became the Dean of Students at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

In all of these capacities, Alexis has emerged as a strong and trusted leader, overseeing PTBi’s operations and administrative functions and working side-by-side with me on our research agenda and long-term strategy. In such a short time, Alexis has helped to further tighten our focus on anti-racism and elevate the importance of our work to the wider UCSF community and within the national birth justice community.

Prior to joining PTBi, Alexis spent over a decade working for and with Black women and their families through her roles at Mayor Ed Lee’s signature anti-poverty program “Project 500” (The San Francisco Human Services Agency) and at the Black Infant Health program at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. With a Masters of Social Work from California State University, East Bay, Alexis is deeply experienced in this field, providing culturally relevant and responsive services, trauma-informed care/systems, grief and loss therapy related to community violence, reflective practice, and anti-racism work. She has also served as a postpartum doula. After experiencing a preterm birth with her second child, Alexis’ interest in building her career around reducing the burden of prematurity was ignited. All of Alexis’ personal and professional experiences drive her passion to improve birth outcomes for Black women and other women of color—it’s no wonder she is in this role!

I feel so blessed to be partnering with Alexis in leading PTBi and moving our initiative forward to achieve our goals of eradicating disparities in preterm birth and improving outcomes for those born too soon. And the good news doesn’t stop there. With Alexis assuming the executive director role, the Associate Director role is open. The Associate Director will work closely with Alexis and I in the initiative’s leadership and decision-making functions as well as PTBI’s day-to-day operations management. Please feel free to share the job listing with anyone you think might be a good fit.

I hope you’ll all join me in congratulating Alexis on her much-deserved role. We’re both looking forward to this exciting new chapter in PTBi’s journey and the important work ahead. With Juneteenth upon us,  we wish you light, love, and the space to turn resolutions into action.

Please feel free to contact Alexis or I with any questions at [email protected] and [email protected].

With gratitude and in solidarity,

Larry Rand, Principal Investigator