Ashley Judd is well known for dextrously starring in both box office hits and for turning in unforgettable performances in fine independent films. From her debut in Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner Ruby In Paradise to Where the Heart Is, Simon Burch, Helen, De-Lovely, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, her films tell very personal stories — which is exactly what Ashley does when she is not making movies.
But the stories she tells are not about being a Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress or about making People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" list three times. As a board member for Population Services International (PSI) and as Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS, Ashley Judd speaks on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
She has travelled the world to do international public health work on all fronts — maternal health, child survival, human rights, family planning, STD and HIV prevention, and malaria prevention and treatment. Ashley Judd has experienced firsthand the connection between poverty, illness, and gender inequality, and how that sets up the pain and degradation that is sex and labour slavery (on which she testified before the General Assembly of the United Nations).
Ashley says, "The more we hear their stories, the more motivated we are to heal them and the social systems that victimised them in the first place. I believe with all my soul that the art of compassionate witnessing is at the core of global change and peace building."
She is also passionate about the environment. An eighth generation Kentuckian, she is an outspoken critic of mountaintop removal coal mining. A proponent of a "green collar" economy, Judd is committed to helping find innovative renewable energy solutions.
In May, 2010, Ashley Judd received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has spoken at many prestigious conferences around the world, including the London School of Economics' Family Planning Summit, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
She also hosted a talk with President Clinton on the work of the Clinton Foundation for the London School of Economics. In 2012, she spoke on the floor of the Democratic National Convention as the delegate from Tennessee asked to cast the ballots for the party's nominee for president and vice president.
She currently serves as global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and is the global ambassador for Population Services International and Polaris Project. Judd also serves on the advisory boards of International Center for Research on Women, Apne Aap Worldwide and Demand Abolition.
Whether it's on behalf of a patient dying from a preventable illness a world away or on behalf a family struggling to find clean drinking water in Appalachia, Ashley Judd is telling the stories of the vulnerable and the at-risk.