Shannon Hovis is a policy expert and political strategist who has spent her career fighting for civil and human rights. She joined NARAL Pro-Choice America in July 2018 and became the Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California in April 2019.
In 2019, under her leadership, NARAL Pro-Choice California sponsored two groundbreaking pieces of legislation: the College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24), which expands abortion access to California’s public universities, and the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (SB 464), which addreses bias in reproductive healthcare to reduce California’s alarmingly high rates of black maternal mortality. Both bills – the first of their kind in the nation – were signed by Governor Newsom in October 2019.
Since joining NARAL, Shannon has also overseen California’s electoral program, helping secure victories among 95% of NARAL-endorsed candidates in 2018. Following the 2018 election, she initiated the launch of NARAL Pro-Choice California’s first ever regional action councils to drive NARAL’s legislative, electoral and judicial campaigns locally. Currently, NARAL Pro-Choice California has action councils in Los Angeles, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area, Inland Empire, San Diego, and the Antelope Valley.
Previously, Shannon worked at the California Department of Justice in the Civil Rights section and as Senior Policy Advisor to then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, where she managed California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board and drafted California’s stop data regulations to govern an estimated fifteen million stops made by law enforcement annually. Shannon has served as Senior Legislative Assistant to California State Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra, in Governmental Affairs for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, and as a field organizer with Organizing for America to help deliver Nevada in 2012. Her subject matter expertise includes women’s rights and reproductive freedom, police practices and racial and identity profiling, criminal and juvenile justice, LGBTQ rights, immigration, education, and other civil rights issues. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she joined Teach For America in New York City and served for three years as a 5th grade Special Educator.
Born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, Shannon has remained close to the diverse communities that make California unique. She currently serves as an appointed delegate to the California Democratic Party for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and is involved in a variety of community organizations in her district — a member of San Francisco’s GLIDE Memorial Church choir, a musical theater performer with the company “Drunk Drag Broadway” at SF Oasis, and an advocate for LGBTQ rights and women’s rights as a bisexual woman. Shannon holds a Master of Science for Teachers from Pace University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. She and her partner Victor Olivieri, Ph.D. reside in San Francisco.