Who We Are

PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States is a bold new organization with a single mission: win paid family leave for everyone in the United States. Our strategy layers public advocacy and accountability campaigns with state-of-the-art communications and digital grassroots engagement to win ambitious solutions for working people in the United States.

Our Team

Katie Bethell, Founder & Executive Director is a senior leader and organizer with nearly 15 years of digital advocacy and mobilization experience. She was the Campaign Director at for four years, where, as a member of the founding team and active participant in national and state coalitions on work/family policy, Katie developed and won local, state, and national campaigns for family-friendly public policy. Her portfolio included work to win passage of statewide paid family leave in New Jersey and Washington State, paid sick days legislation in Connecticut, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Following MomsRising, Katie was Managing Director of North America Campaigns at, where she oversaw the team that ran hundreds of  impactful public campaigns in the US, including the campaign that launched Trayvon Martin’s shooting to national attention in 2012 (2.2 million supporters) and the campaign that ended the Boy Scouts anti-gay policy. In 2014, Katie was named one Fast Company's ‘Most Creative People in Business’.

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Brianna Cayo Cotter, Chief of Staff helped found and lead's global communications program, where she helped influencers, non-profits, companies, and news organizations create big impact in the world as the Head of Global Partnerships.  For over a decade she has developed creative, effective communications strategies to help advance social change, leading media and communications departments at Avaaz, Rainforest Action Network, and the Energy Action Coalition.

She lives in Washington DC with her beagle mutt and is passionate about big trees and paid family leave.

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Orli Cotel, Director of Strategy served as the Deputy Communications Director for the National Sierra Club, where she directed branding and publicity for the country's largest grassroots environmental organization and placed stories in outlets such as Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the New Yorker, Time Magazine and the New York Times. She led a team of 14 communications strategists as Communications Director for the groundbreaking Beyond Coal campaign, which won retirements of over 200 coal-fired power plants across the U.S.  For 9 years, she was also the producer and host of Sierra Club Radio, a nationally-syndicated progressive talk show that ran on 40 stations across the country. During that time she recorded over 1,500 interviews with thought leaders and authors such as Robert F Kennedy Jr, Arianna Huffington, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jane Goodall, and over a dozen governors and mayors. She holds a B.A in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Washington University, St. Louis and is a proud graduate of Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. 

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Annie Sartor, Program Director is a longtime activist and corporate campaigner. She has successfully challenged some of the largest corporations in the world to change their internal policies to incorporate principles of environmental and social responsibility.  As a Senior Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, she organized and mobilized activists across the country to effectively demand that Wall Street banks reduce investment in fossil fuels, and eliminate entirely investment in the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. She also coordinated campaigns for environmental health, amplifying the voices of those most impacted by climate change and environmental pollution from the oil and gas industry at Breast Cancer Action and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

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Andrea Zuniga, Legislative Director & Counsel served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Federal Affairs for Mayor Bill de Blasio and assisted with the development and implementation of his personnel order that provided New York City employees six weeks of fully paid parental leave that can be combined with existing accrued leave for a total of twelve weeks. Experienced with moving legislation on the federal, state, and local level, Andie has coordinated multi-organization coalitions on immigration, infrastructure and workers rights.  As a Legislative Representative, she played a key role in the historic AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce agreement on the future flow of guest workers that passed the Senate as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

She lives in Mount Vernon, Maine and enjoys fly fishing, hunting, and taking her chocolate lab out to the pond.  

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Jenn Kauffman, Advocacy Director served as Senior Vice President at Revolution Messaging, the digital agency behind Bernie Sanders’ groundbreaking presidential campaign, and led the agency's advertising department during the 2016 cycle, where advised and trained clients and organizations on how to harness the power of digital organizing to champion progressive values. Previously, she worked within the labor movement for a decade, focusing on state-based political and union organizing. She got her start in politics as Deputy Director of Internet Operations for the Gore campaign in 2000 when she was just 20.

After graduating from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, Jenn moved to Washington, D.C. to work with a number of national advocacy and labor organizations, striving to drive a national conversation and lift up the voices of underrepresented communities. Most notably, she led state communications for the AFL-CIO while unions organized unprecedented protests across the country to protect collective bargaining, and later helped to forge labor and immigrants rights' coalitions.

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Sarah Layton, Finance Director is a committed reproductive justice advocate who also loves talking about money. As the Director of Finance & Operations at If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, she built scalable systems that supported the organization through growth and a successful rebrand. Sarah has worn many non-profit hats over the years, and loves to work on passionate, mission-driven teams. She is most proud of her work with ACCESS Women's Health Justice, where she is currently serving as Co-Chair of the board. Sarah holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature & Society from Columbia University, and was a Speaking Race to Power Fellow in winter of 2016.

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Bri Barnett, Development Director has extensive experience in a variety of movements including labor, tenants rights, climate change LGBT rights, and anti-racist organizing. Professionally, Bri has designed and implemented fundraising systems, grown signature galas, deepened business relationships, and written fundraising materials for the SF LGBT Center, Horizons Young Professionals for Equality, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and Transgender Law Center. Worker rights were Bri's first exposure to activism through United Students Against Sweatshops, and they could not be more thrilled to apply their fundraising skills at PL+US to securing better workplaces for everyone.

In their free time, Bri enjoys cooking, reading, playing basketball, practicing and teaching mindfulness, and organizing with Showing Up for Racial Justice.

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Jenna Mowat, Campaign Manager developed both digital and field operations during two political campaign cycles. In 2016, she served as a community organizer in Ohio and successfully mobilized volunteers to register hundreds of voters, knock on hundreds of doors and make thousands of phone calls, which resulted in her county being one of four that turned blue.

In addition to her grassroots experience, Jenna has also worked in the international political arena. In 2015, she served as an attaché to the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations. In this capacity, she served on the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee. She also coordinated several high-level events on women’s economic empowerment and the post-2015 development agenda for the UK Prime Minister. Jenna holds a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College.

Contact Jenna

Board & Key Advisors

Board & Key Advisors

  Erin Thornton                     Board Member

Erin Thornton                    Board Member

Erin Thornton helps individuals, nonprofits and companies who are serious about making a difference in the world develop and execute a plan to do just that. She is currently the president of Erin Thornton Consulting and co-founder of HIVE, through which she helps individuals, nonprofits and companies leverage their voice to advance social issues.  Prior to starting her own firm, she worked side by side with her co-founder Christy Turlington Burns as the Executive Director of Every Mother Counts (EMC), a campaign designed to engage the public on global maternal health. Before that, Erin spent 8 years on the Executive Leadership team as the Global Policy Director of DATA and later the ONE campaign to fight global poverty.

Erin joined co-founders Bono and Bobby Shriver at the organization’s inception and was responsible for establishing ONE as a critical partner for policymakers and lead thinkers alike, linking them to creative solutions that were understood and meaningful for the public. Erin also has experience working at the United States Export-Import Bank and at the U.S. State Department in the International Health Affairs office. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University and received her master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University. Erin was recognized as one of the Top 40 Leaders in Global Development Under the Age of 40 in 2010. 

  Swati Mylavarapu                         Board Member

Swati Mylavarapu                        Board Member

Swati Mylavarapu is a social entrepreneur and venture capitalist at Incite Ventures. She has previously held leadership positions at Square, Quid, and Google. A Truman Scholar, and Rhodes Scholar, she’s also on the board of BLab and Bayes Impact.




  Nick Allardice  Board Member

Nick Allardice
Board Member

Nick Allardice is the Vice President of Global Campaigns for He leads a team of campaigning and communications experts across 18 countries to support's nearly 120 million users to win campaigns on issues they care about. Nick previously lead and managed's entry and growth in Australia, India, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia -- pioneering thinking and models for how digital activism works in developing and emerging country contexts.

Nick is also the co-founder of the Live Below the Line campaign. First created in mid 2010, over 40,000 people around the world have since taken the challenge to live on the international extreme poverty line for five days, raising more than $20 million to fight poverty.

  Melissa Sandgren   Board Member

Melissa Sandgren

Board Member

Melissa Sandgren works at the intersection of technology and social good at Yahoo where she manages high-level projects in partnership with the Office of Inclusive Diversity and Yahoo for Good (corporate social responsibility / social impact). She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government with a passion for feminism, gender equality and women's human rights. Her goal is to create a more fair, just and equitable world by using technology as a tool to achieve more equitable outcomes.She previously spent two years traveling abroad meeting with women's human rights groups, as well as work with: UN Women, The World Health Organization, The Global Fund for Women and The Women’s Foundation of California. In her free time, she organizes various groups o advocate, discuss and solve issues related to gender equality, feminism and social justice. 

  Mia Birdsong   Co-Director, Family Story

Mia Birdsong

Co-Director, Family Story

  Jen Dulski   President & COO,

Jen Dulski

President & COO,

  Natalie Foster   Co-Founder, Rebuild the Dream & Peers

Natalie Foster

Co-Founder, Rebuild the Dream & Peers

  Michelle Melendez   Senior Director,

Michelle Melendez

Senior Director,

  Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner   Co-Founder & Executive Director,

Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner

Co-Founder & Executive Director,

  Ben Wikler   Washington Director,

Ben Wikler

Washington Director,

So many people have been a part of bringing PL+US to our launch that it's impossible to name you all. I do want to give a special shout-out to Brad, Semira, and their beautiful baby for their support, friendship, and modeling.  We simply would not be here without the significant contributions and strategic guidance of Austin King, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Joe Dinkin,  Amanda Kloer, Patrick Schmitt, and Melissa Sandgren.



  Thought Leadership Partner

Thought Leadership Partner

 Legal Partner

Legal Partner


Please contact us if your organization is interested in partnering with PL+US

PL+US' Paid Family Leave Policy

PL+US' Paid Family Leave Policy

Paid Parental Leave 

All team members at PL+US are eligible for Paid Parental Leave, for up to twenty-four (24) weeks, in a twelve-month period following the birth of a child, adoption of a child, or placement of a foster child in their home.  

A team member may take Paid Parental Leave in the following format:

  • Weeks 1 - 12: Full-time parental leave, and in receipt of 100% of your salary.
  • Weeks 13 - 24:
    • Option A: Return to work after 12 weeks at 50% of pre-leave working hours, in receipt of 100% of your regular salary.
    • Option B: Continue on full-time leave, in receipt of 50% of your regular salary. Return to work at full duties, after 24 weeks. 

Employee Notification: We ask that team members notify their Manager and/or the Executive Director as soon as practicable of their intention to take parental leave. 

Remuneration Source for Parental Leave: For employees in California (and any other states with Paid Family Leave schemes), your salary will be in part provided by State Disability Insurance (or equivalent system), and the remaining ‘top up’, up to 100% of your regular salary, will be paid by PL+US. At the conclusion of your SDI entitlements, PL+US will continue you pay you your full salary, pursuant to the Parental Leave Option that you select. 

Pregnancy Disability Leave

You may also be eligible for Pregnancy Disability Leave - up to 4 weeks unpaid, job-protected leave -  if you are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or related condition. This can be taken intermittently. 

Returning to work

Employees are always welcome and encouraged to talk with their managers about a return-to-work schedule with reduced or flexible work hours to accommodate family needs. 

Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave will be granted for the following reasons:

  • To care for an employee’s family member -  spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandparent or other qualifying family member - with a serious health condition
  • When the employee is unable to return to work because of a ‘serious health condition’ (See definition below).

A team member may be eligible for the following combined total of family and medical leave for the reasons listed above, within a 12 month period:

  • Up to 6 weeks paid family and medical leave
  • Up to a further 6 weeks of unpaid family and medical leave

You may be eligible to take family and medical leave on an intermittent basis, or to work a reduced schedule. You will be required to discuss and negotiate with your Manager and/or the Executive Director any proposed scheduled leave so as not to unduly disrupt the organization’s operations. 

‘Serious Health Condition’

PL+US has adopted the meaning of ‘serious health condition’ as defined under the Family and Medical Leave Act, meaning an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
  • a period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three calendar days from work, school, or other regular daily activities that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider; or
  • any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care; or
  • any period of incapacity (or treatment therefore) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.); or
  • a period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective (e.g., Alzheimer's, stroke, terminal diseases, etc.); or,
  • any absences to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery therefrom) by, or on referral by, a health care provider for a condition that likely would result in incapacity of more than three consecutive days if left untreated (e.g., chemotherapy, physical therapy, dialysis, etc.).