CEO and Co-founder, Upstream USA
Mark Edwards is the CEO and co-founder of Upstream USA, a nationally-recognized, fast-growing nonprofit working to expand opportunity by reducing unplanned pregnancy in the U.S. Upstream partners with states to provide sustainable training and technical assistance to health centers to ensure all women have same-day access to the birth control method of their choice. Upstream’s mission empowers women to decide when and if they want to become pregnant, a critical step towards improving outcomes for parents, children, and society.
Under Mark’s leadership, Upstream has grown exponentially since 2014 and has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, and Marie Claire. Along with an outstanding team, Mark led the development of Upstream’s innovative, whole health center approach, filling a gap not met by other organizations. The impact of the intervention is significant; following Upstream’s statewide approach in Delaware, researchers estimate a 24 percent decrease in unplanned pregnancies among a subset of Title X patients, compared with a 3 percent decrease nationwide during the same period. Additional health centers served by Upstream across Ohio, Massachusetts, New York and Texas report increased clinician knowledge, greater patient choice, and sustainability, long after Upstream’s partnership concluded.
Philanthropic individuals and foundations have provided generous support to Upstream’s ambitious plans, including a $60 million lead investment by Blue Meridian Partners, helping to grow Upstream’s budget from $1.7 million just three years ago to approximately $25 million in 2019. Mark is a nationally recognized leader on expanding opportunity and upward mobility. His writing is included in TIME, Brookings Institution Social Mobility Memos, Politico, Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Prior to co-founding Upstream, Mark was the founder and executive director of Opportunity Nation, a national bipartisan campaign made up of 300 national nonprofits focused on expanding economic mobility through bipartisan federal policy reform. Mark is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur and an Ashoka Fellow. He has served on more than a dozen nonprofit boards and advisory committees and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Philips Exeter Academy. Mark is a graduate of Harvard College, the proud father of three girls, and lives with his wife in Massachusetts.