Board members of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Patrick Kelly and Jeanne Monahan, have been selected to serve as the new leaders following the death of president Nellie Gray.

"Patrick and Jeanne are fantastic and intelligent leaders in the pro-life movement who will continue the great legacy set forth by Nellie Gray," said Terrence Scanlon, who has served as Vice President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund for over 20 years.

The organization, which runs and plans the march in Washington, D.C. to observe the legalization of abortion each January, elected the new leaders as part of a "transition plan" to carry on the "legacy and vision" of Gray who passed away at the age of 86 on Aug. 13.

Kelly, who serves as Vice President for Public Policy for the Knights of Columbus and has experience in the U.S. military as a Captain in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps Reserve and government service from working in the House of Representatives and Justice Department, will serve as the Chairman of the Board.

As a regular contributor to the media on matters of human life and having worked in the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Monahan is revered by the board as a "life-long advocate for life."

Monahan has served as Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Center, the organization that has made recent news due to the shooting of a security guard on the premise Aug. 16.

Both Kelly and Monhan hold a Master of Theology from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America an.

Monahan earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, while Kelly received his from Marquette University.

The board's vote came Aug. 14, just following the news of Gray's passing.

Commemorating 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, the next March for Life will be held in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 25, 2013.