About us

Plan International USA is a girls’ rights organization

Powered by supporters, we partner with adolescent girls and their communities to overcome oppression and gender inequality. We provide the resources that are unique to their needs, ensuring they achieve their full potential with dignity, opportunity and safety.

How did we get here?

Plan International was founded in 1937 when a journalist and a refugee worker came together to help suffering children during the Spanish Civil War. With the help of our supporters and partners, we have grown into one of the oldest, widest-reaching and most effective girls’ rights organizations in the world.

Discover our history
Girls from Plan's past

Girls Fighting For Gender Equality

Gender & Youth Equality

Anthony has a different perspective than most of the other men and boys he knows in Sierra Leone. He can’t stand the way that girls and women are treated.

“Where I’m from is a really rough part of town,” Anthony explains. “It’s a very threatening environment for girls. And for them to make it to college — it’s almost impossible.”

To create change, Anthony joined Plan’s Girls Advocacy Alliance a few years ago. He now walks through communities with girls, megaphone in hand. He knocks on doors with them, talking to neighbors about the importance of reporting sexual assault. And he fights child marriage with them, even helping to stop the forced marriages of two girls in the alliance.

“I want to stand for girls,” Anthony says. “I want boys to look at girls as partners. I want them to see that girls can be more than just wives, more than just mothers. Sometimes I create enemies along the way, but no matter what happens, I’m not going to relent.”

Learn more about our Gender & Youth Equality work
Woman raising hand in fist


Because Uma was born a girl, her father said she was a curse. She believed she was an ink smudge in a story that was never supposed to be written.

But when Uma’s mother sent her to school, everything changed. Uma began to see her value. The chemistry tests she aced got her out of bed each morning. The characters in the novels she read became her friends. The problems she solved helped her decipher her own.

At 18, Uma became a member of Plan’s Advocacy Alliance, a program campaigning for equal rights for girls and women. “I was able to convince girls who dropped out of school to go back,” Uma says.

And every bit of Uma’s work in the alliance helps change some of the perceptions about daughters in her culture. Because when girls go to school, they become professional women and help make an income for their family. Just like a son would.

“I can make my own fate. And because my mom sent me to school, I did.”

Learn more about our Education work
Girl with cat after hurricane

Humanitarian Response

Ana and her family lost everything in the floods of Hurricane Eta.

She was at home with her mom, brother and sister in La Lima municipality when the flood waters began to rise. They had to quickly find the highest building in the community and climb to its roof, along with around 400 other people. The roof wasn’t big enough to hold all of them. And they spent two days trapped there, waiting for help without food or water.

“At night it was freezing, it was horrible,” 17-year-old Ana says. “And during the day it was extremely hot and there was no water. We were all in a panic. The water level was just 20 cm away from reaching us. We told each other that if we drowned, at least they will find us together.”

Plan launched a multi-country response to Hurricanes Eta and Iota, with our teams on the ground providing girls and their families with clean water, food, child protection services and hygiene kits. Thankfully, Ana and her family were brought to safety by a rescue boat and are now receiving full support from Plan.

“I’ve been a warrior and have accomplished many things by myself,” Ana says. “So, I said, ‘Why not this one?’”

Learn more about our Humanitarian Response work
Women in skills and work program

Skills & Work

There are two mechanics regarded by their customers as some of the best car technicians in Guinea. The pair are N’Mahawa, age 25, and Teninké, age 28. Both are women.

Teninké and N’Mahawa’s learned their car repair skills at a Plan vocational center, and now they stand out from other male-run mechanic businesses in their community.

The two are not only showing young girls that they can follow their dreams, but also changing the minds of men in their community.

“Through them, I have come to understand that women, if given the opportunity, can do better than men,” says Mohamed, one of Teninké and N’Mahawa’s male customers. “I am even convinced that giving women the right to choose their life in complete autonomy, everywhere in the world, is one of the keys to meeting the challenges of this century.”

Learn more about our Skills & Work programming
Girl with menstrual health supplies

Maternal & Child Health

When Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique last year, thousands of people were displaced by the disaster. Things became especially difficult for girls, who were left without access to period products.

Fifteen-year-old Domingas can’t always afford menstrual pads.

“They are so expensive, so I cannot buy them every month,” she says. “I make pads with pieces of cloth. But they are uncomfortable because they leak — I cannot be very active during the day.”

With Plan’s intervention, we’ve provided Domingas and thousands of other girls in Mozambique with washable, reusable “PeriodPanties.” Each girl received two pairs, which last more than two years each.

“Since I have received the reusable underwear, I can continue to be productive during menstruation,” Domingas says. “I can go to school again once they are open and I will not fall behind.”

Learn more about our Maternal & Child Health work

Plan International USA executive team

Shanna Marzilli

Shanna Marzilli

President & CEO

Dave Cannata

Dave Cannata

Chief Financial Officer

Kate Ezzes

Kate Ezzes

Vice President, Program Development

Frank Manfredi

Frank Manfredi

Vice President, Humanitarian Programs

Erin Mulanaphy

Erin Mulanaphy

Chief People and Culture Officer

Jim Peters

Jim Peters

VP & General Counsel

Jennifer Trainor

Jennifer Trainor

Chief Strategy Officer

Former Plan USA CEO Tessie San Martin in the field

Board of directors

Plan International USA is governed by a board of directors led by a chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary and treasurer. The board of directors oversees the Executive Team responsible for running day-to-day business operations, including international programming, marketing, finance and human resources.

Meet the board
Youth Advisory Board Members

Youth Advisory Board

Plan International USA’s Youth Advisory Board  is a group of young people from every corner of the U.S. who serve as ambassadors to Plan. We strive to connect youth with Plan’s global mission to unleash the power of girls. The YAB provides input into decision-making, child coordinating projects and campaigns related to Plan’s work.

Meet the YAB
Plan Employee Helping Children


Our employees at Plan are a driving force behind helping millions of girls across the world realize and exercise their rights. That’s why we make sure every person on our staff is uniquely well-equipped to do their best work for the girls, young people and their families with whom we work. When you join our team, our movement for gender equality becomes so much stronger.

See open positions

Plan Financial And Tax Information

Financial information

We believe that because our donors and sponsors are our partners, the use of their contributions should be administered in an open and transparent matter.

Learn more
Plan Young Leader Signing Press Document


Read the latest news and information about Plan’s partnerships, events and programs helping to change girls’ lives.

Learn more
Sponsored Girl Reading Plan Material


Explore research, studies and surveys conducted by Plan International and our partners, and learn about solutions for girls’ and children’s rights.

Learn more

Impact circles

Plan’s Impact Circles are highly engaged groups of donors who come together to partner with adolescent girls, Plan volunteers and staff to create transformational change through their support of and connection with Plan programs. Through Impact Circles, Plan is building communities of change with philanthropists who are ready to invest their time, talent and treasure to achieve gender equality for girls around the world.

Learn more about Impact Circles