Newsmakers for April 2005

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Last month, Marc Schindler left the D.C.- and San Francisco-based Youth Law Center (YLC), a nonprofit that has lobbied and litigated for changes in youth service systems in 15 states. After eight years as an attorney for YLC, he now goes to work for new Washington, D.C., juvenile justice boss Vincent Schiraldi. Schindler will serve as general counsel for the city’s new Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.

Schiraldi became the first head of the agency earlier this year, after having run the D.C.-based Justice Policy Institute. (See “A Critic Joins the System.”)

Schindler is no stranger to public jobs. He was Baltimore’s assistant public defender in the juvenile court division from 1993 to 1997, and served as a counselor at an alternative school for adjudicated boys in Manhattan from 1988 to 1989.

The move puts him in an intriguing position: After almost a decade litigating against states, he is now a key player in the effort to bring Washington into compliance with a consent decree it reached with Children’s Rights (CR), a nonprofit that engages in litigation similar to that of YLC.

Schindler’s presence could be a catalyst in moving the system forward and out of court supervision. He says his relationship with CR’s staff (and executive director Marcia Lowry) is “quite good. … They are leaders I have known and respected for a long time.” He says YLC views CR’s expert in the Washington case, Paul DeMuro, as the “top juvenile justice expert in the country.” Contact: Youth Rehabilitation Services (202) 576-8175; YLC (202) 637-0377,

The Irving, Texas-based Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hired Chuck Hurley, National Safety Council vice president, to be its new CEO. Hurley, who was awarded the 2004 J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, has been a key supporter since the group’s creation in 1980. He served on MADD’s board from 1993 to 1998, and played a large role in pushing the National 21 Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 through Congress. Contact: (469) 420-4545,

Longtime Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Vice President Bob McKeagney joined Clearwater, Fla.-based Eckerd Youth Alternatives last month. McKeagney, who has served as CWLA’s expert witness in the agency’s defense of state child welfare systems under class-action lawsuits, worked for 20 years at the Maine Department of Human Services, starting as a caseworker and finishing as deputy commissioner. McKeagney will serve as chief operating officer for Eckerd, which serves 9,000 troubled youth annually at 40 residential and community-based programs. Contact: (727) 461-2990,

Jonathan Lever, previously the CEO of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, will facilitate the leadership team charged with implementing the YMCA’s initiative to fight obesity, called Activate America. The project was announced last summer and has garnered $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with support from such corporations as JC Penney, Kimberly-Clark and AOL Time Warner, whose Time magazine provided ad space for the initiative. The project is being tested at 20 YMCA locations. Contact: (312) 977-0031,

Word around the youth field is that Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) founder and President Marian Wright Edelman will be sharing power at the top. Several sources have been told that CDF will name David Hornbeck to a top leadership position, although Edelman will maintain ultimate control over the nonprofit she started in 1973.

In January, Hornbeck stepped down as CEO of the Baltimore-based International Youth Foundation, which supports youth development programs around the world, after two years on the job. He chairs the CDF board of directors.

CDF spokesman Ron Eckstein would not acknowledge that Hornbeck will be hired, but said staff changes will be announced in April. Contact: CDF (202) 662-3609,

Don Hodel is retiring from his position as CEO and president of Focus on the Family. Hodel, who served as secretary of the Interior and of Energy during the Reagan administration, took over the top post at the conservative nonprofit in 2003, when Focus founder and current chairman James Dobson passed on the day-to-day operations in favor of more fund raising and speaking. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based organization, which has about 1,300 employees and spent $123 million in fiscal 2003, appointed Chief Operating Officer James Daly to replace Hodel. Contact: (800) 232-6459,

Christine Ferguson will be the new senior vice president for public policy at America’s Promise in Alexandria, Va. Ferguson, the first major hire by new CEO Marguerite Sallee, comes to the position from Boston, where she was the city’s public health commissioner. Lizette Corro was named senior vice president of resource development. Contact: (703) 684-4500,

Jeffrey Butts, a senior research associate at the D.C.-based Urban Institute, is leaving to help the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children add a juvenile justice component to its focus, which has historically been child welfare. Butts recently released Juvenile Drug Courts and Teen Substance Abuse, which pieced together what is known about the impact of an under-evaluated effort that has received more than $1 billion in federal investments since 1995. (See “Juvenile Drug Courts: Funding Soars, but What Do We Know?”)

The idea for the new program at Chapin Hall, Butts says in an e-mail, is “to help state and local jurisdictions incorporate the principles of positive youth development into the juvenile justice system in a more tangible way than is often true at present.” Contact: Urban Institute (202) 833-7200,;Chapin Hall (773) 753-5900,  

Peggy Sanchez Mills, we belatedly report, is in as the new CEO of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the 147-year-old organization’s first permanent selection for the job since 2003. Mills was hired as CEO of YWCA Tampa at the age of 29, after creating Florida’s first program to help teen mothers continue their education (Project Help). She takes over for Dorris Daniel-Parkes, who has served as interim director since the group dismissed controversial hire Patricia Ireland in 2003, after six months on the job. Contact: (202) 467-0801, Former public policy director Marcella Howell has left the D.C.-based Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that promotes and lobbies for comprehensive approaches to sexuality education. She has not been replaced. Contact: (202) 419-3420,

Public Agenda, a nonpartisan opinion research organization in New York, appointed Ana Maria Arumi as senior vice president and director of research. She had been elections manager at NBC News for the past six years. Contact: (212) 686-6610,

Scott Leslie was named director of marketing for SkillsUSA in Leesburg, Va., a youth job skills training partnership program that engages 264,000 students and instructors each year. Leslie is the former director of brand marketing for the American Red Cross. Contact: (703) 777-8810,  

Safe Kids Worldwide, based in Washington, D.C., has hired Stephanie Fischer, a strategic planning and communications consultant, to be director of its “worldwide” department. She will lead programs to prevent childhood injuries in 16 countries. Contact: (202) 662-0600,  


Ten years ago, Michael Bailin took over as president of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (assets: $600 million) with a mandate and a promise.

The mandate: to “disengage responsibly from our previous work,” in the words of board Chairman James McConnell Clark, and rebuild the entire grant-making strategy and portfolio. The promise: to spend no more than 10 years heading the foundation. Bailin followed through on the promise by announcing his departure as of June.

The foundation worked in five program areas, ranging from tropical diseases to middle-school reform, before announcing in 2000 it would refocus completely on strengthening youth development agencies. Bailin oversaw the phase-out of the foundation’s long-time programs and the development of a new network of youth-serving agency grantees.

Clark says the board asked Bailin to stay longer, but “with things in good shape,” Bailin stuck to his intended tenure. Thanks to what amounted to a decade of notice that Bailin would leave, Clark was well-prepared to promote Nancy Roob, 39, into the top position. Roob has been chief operating officer and vice president since last year, but has been with Clark as long as Bailin has. She started as program developer for New York Neighborhoods, a community-building and stabilization project serving the South Bronx and Central Harlem. Contact: (212) 551-9100,

Dwight L. Evans, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was named president of the board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The foundation, with 16 chapters worldwide, played a big role in developing the federal Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which allocated $82 million in federal funds to help government and nonprofit agencies expand youth suicide prevention and intervention. President Bush signed the act after Congress passed it last year. Contact: (888) 333-2377,  


Two federal funding streams totaling $154 million for abstinence-only education programs are being moved from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The new home for the $104 million Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE, formerly known as SPRANS) and the $50 million Title V program is the Administration for Children and Families, also in HHS and headed by Wade Horn.

What seems like a simple bureaucratic shift has Beltway abstinence proponents thrilled. A former congressional staffer who is largely credited with developing CBAE says the “underlying career civil servants” in the child health bureau, many of them Clinton-era hires, were “hostile” to the abstinence movement. He believes this led to some of the grants going to programs that also promoted condom use. Contact: ACF (202) 401-9215,

Ross Deck, assistant deputy director for the White House Office of National Drug Policy since the years of Clinton-era Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, retired this month to take a position with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Deck, who worked at ONDCP for Deputy Director Mary Ann Solberg, will serve in the Vienna, Austria-based Global Challenges section for UNODC. Contact: ONDCP (202) 395–6618,


Barbara Finberg, 76, a philanthropist who is credited with bringing national attention to early childhood education. Finberg joined the Carnegie Corp. in 1957, and her work alerted policy-makers to the absence of research on how babies and toddlers learn. Her efforts led to the launch of PBS television juggernaut “Sesame Street.”

Col. Mary Hallaren, 97, the first executive director of Women in Community Service, a national nonprofit established in 1965 that helped poor women and children, and now primarily provides services to Job Corps youth. Before working in the nonprofit, the career military officer served as director of the Women’s Army Corps, the first official women’s component of the United States Army, from its creation in 1948 until its abolition in 1978. To announce changes at your agency, contact the author.