Newsmakers for March 2007

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The D.C.-based Child Welfare League of America has hired Christine James-Brown to replace outgoing CEO Shay Bilchik, who leaves the organization after seven years to focus on a field he once specialized in, juvenile justice.

James-Brown brings a career of 28 years with the United Way, the past 13 of them in CEO positions. She has served as CEO since 2004 of the Alexandria, Va.-based United Way International (UWI), which makes grants to programs in 45 countries. According to federal tax records, during her first two fiscal years (2004 and 2005), the nonprofit nearly doubled the amount it granted, to $17.4 million.

Before that, she spent a decade as CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia. It is one of the state’s largest nonprofit operators, taking in about $55 million annually in donations and funding 2,500 community-based organizations. She also served on Philadelphia’s school board, and on the boards of the W.T. Grant Foundation and Public/Private Ventures.


“Most of my work at United Way has been focused on children and families,” James-Brown says. This job is “the logical next step for me.”

Irv Katz, executive director of the Washington-based National Human Services Assembly, calls the hiring “an inspired choice.”

James-Brown is replaced at UWI by Theresa Hall-Bartels, one of the organization’s former board members.

Contact: CWLA (202) 638-2952,


Bilchik becomes the first director of the new Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Systems Integration, based at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI). The center’s creation was supported by the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

The job marks a return to juvenile justice for Bilchik, who was administrator of the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from 1994 to 2000.

He says the new center will seek to do three things: issue two or three “white papers” a year on key juvenile justice issues; conduct exclusive symposia each year on topics critical to juvenile justice; and develop a certificate program, similar to a fellows program, where public agency officials would go to Georgetown for 10 days to study key elements of juvenile justice reform.

“To the best of my knowledge, this type of effort does not exist,” Bilchik says. “People told me there’s a real need to strengthen the juvenile justice field’s leadership, a need to strengthen the bench behind those leaders.”

Bilchik is armed with two research associates and an administrative assistant and hopes to add a deputy director down the line. The center’s annual budget is expected to be about $400,000.

Contact: GPPI (202) 687-5932,

Another term recently ended for Bilchik: his chairmanship of the National Collaboration for Youth, a 50-organization coalition made up of the National Human Services Assembly’s youth-serving members. Replacing Bilchik is Karen Pittman, executive director of the D.C.-based Forum for Youth Investment and a columnist for Youth Today. National 4-H Council CEO Don Floyd was named vice chairman. Contact: National Assembly (202) 347-2080,

After a prolonged search to replace Tamara Copeland, Voices for America’s Children found its man in Points of Light Foundation Chief Operating Officer Bill Bentley. Points of Light Foundation, founded in 1990, highlights the work of volunteers and coordinates a network of 350 volunteer centers around the country. The 23-year-old child advocacy organization works with more than 50 member organizations in 46 states and Washington.

Bentley was previously on the senior management team at the Corporation for National and Community Service and before that served for seven years as executive director of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services.

Bentley’s appointment as president ends the interim tenure of Valora Washington, a former vice president at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and a Voices board member from 2001 to 2003. Washington took over for Copeland last summer, when Copeland left to become president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

Voices carries about $2.5 million in assets and drew in $6.2 million between fiscal 2003 and 2005, according to its tax returns. Contact: (202) 289-0777,

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN), an arm of the Washington-based Coalition for Juvenile Justice, headed by Nancy Gannon Hornberger, named Jenni Gainsborough as its new program and policy associate. NJJN is a small shop – Gainsborough will answer to its only other full-time staffer, Sarah Bryer – seeking to amass a 50-state membership that would share information about advocating for juvenile justice reform. Gainsborough, who replaces Penelope Spain, was director of Penal Reform International’s Washington office, and has worked on such justice initiatives as The Sentencing Project and the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Contact: (202) 467-0864,

Elizabeth Hurvitz is in as chief operating officer at Newark, N.J.-based The League, a nonprofit founded by Bill Hoogterp that uses a sports-league model to foster competition among youths in different schools to do the most good (read: volunteer work that teaches philanthropy and civic engagement). The league operates in 10 states, although most of the competing schools are in New Jersey, Michigan or Indiana. Contact: (973) 643-6373,

The D.C.-based National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) named national homeless youth expert Richard Wayman to serve as its senior youth policy analyst. Wayman was the director of Streetworks, a Minneapolis collaboration of 13 youth-serving agencies that provides assistance to homeless youth. He will work with fellow analyst LaKesha Pope on such issues as youth housing models and the disproportionate number of minority and LGBT homeless youth in the United States. Contact: (202) 638-1526,

The Alexandria, Va.-based youth advocacy organization First Focus in Januay named Bruce Lesley to be its president. The organization, a new affiliate of America’s Promise, stresses a bipartisan approach to advancing sound youth policy.

Lesley comes from the blue side of the political aisle: He was the health policy adviser to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M). The hire gives the organization a political blend at the top, as its board chairman is former U.S. Rep. John Porter (R-Ill.), who served 21 years in Congress and chaired the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Contact: (703) 535-3885,

The Washington-based Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN USA) hired Brian Altman to be its new director of public policy and program development. Altman will be the man on Capitol Hill for SPAN, a 10-year-old organization that is headed by Jerry Reed and combines the resources of its members (mostly people who have attempted suicide, or have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide) to advance public policies. Altman moves over from the American Counseling Association, where he was the legislative representative. Contact: (202) 449-3600,

Ajay Chaudry became director of the Urban Institute’s Center on Labor, Human Services and Population. Chaudry joins the center, one of Urban’s 10 research divisions, from the vast New York City bureaucracy. For the past two years, Chaudry oversaw 450 employees and a $900 million budget as the city’s deputy commissioner for child care and Head Start.

On the same day, New York State will get an Urban senior fellow: Olivia Golden, who has guided Urban’s Assessing the New Federalism project since leaving her post as director of Washington, D.C.’s Child and Family Services Agency in 2004, was tapped by new Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) to serve as his director of operations. Golden will oversee 80 state agencies.

Golden joined the staff of President Clinton in 1993 as commissioner of children, youth and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, and was promoted to assistant secretary for children and families. She was director of programs and policy at the Children’s Defense Fund before joining the Clinton administration.

Contact: Urban (202) 833-7200,; New York State (518) 474-8390,

Rick Goings was named chairman of the 50-member board of governors of the Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which carried over $283 million in assets from 2005, according to its most recently filed tax return. Goings, the CEO of Tupperware Brands Corp., has been on the board for 18 years, and has chaired most of its major committees. Contact: (404) 487-5700,



Phillip Henderson, former vice president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will take over in May as president of the New York-based Surdna Foundation (assets: $900 million). Henderson, 38, has nine years of service at GMF, an international grant-making and policy institute endowed by the German government. He replaces Ed Skloot, who became the foundation’s first full-time leader when he joined it in 1989.

Surdna makes about $35 million in grants annually in the fields of environment, community revitalization, effective citizenry, arts and the nonprofit sector. Contact: (212) 557-0010,

The JEHT Foundation (assets: $4 million) hired Betsy Witten to serve as program manager in charge of its newly created juvenile justice program, which is still in the early planning stages, according to Program Associate Alexa Aviles. The foundation has made juvenile justice grants in the past, Aviles says, but “the board felt it was time to augment that.”

Witten, an attorney, previously served as the director of education initiatives for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services in New York.

JEHT lists only about $4 million in assets on its recent federal tax returns, but regular contributions from a wealthy donor enable the foundation to make grants totaling $15 million to $20 million each year. Contact: (212) 965-0400,

Thurgood Marshall Jr. was appointed late last year to the board of trustees at the New York-based Ford Foundation (assets: $11.4 billion). Marshall is a partner at Bingham McCutchen, a law firm based in Washington. Marshall was cabinet secretary for President Clinton from 1997 to 2001, serving as a liaison between the White House and the heads of executive branch agencies. He is the son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Contact: (212) 573-4821,


Terry Cline is on the job as the new administrator at the Substance


Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, which has an estimated 2007 budget of $3.2 billion. Cline was Oklahoma’s secretary of health before being nominated by President Bush in November to fill outgoing SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie’s shoes. Cline’s early career included a stint as clinical director at the Cambridge Youth Guidance Center in Massachusetts, and time with SAMHSA as a health care policy fellow. Contact: SAMHSA (240) 276-2130,


Jann Heffner, executive director of the Children Services Board of Butler County, Ohio, announced she will resign her post in April in the wake of the tragic murder of a Butler County foster youth. Three-year-old Marcus Fiesel was taken from his birth mother last April and placed with Liz and David Carroll by Lifeway for Youth (LFY), a nonprofit lead by Executive Director Michael Berner. With headquarters in Ohio and Kentucky, the agency places children for counties in six states: Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia and Texas.

The boy was killed in August and found in a blanket wrapped with packing tape inside a closet in the Carolls’ home. The couple has been charged with his murder, and the state has sought to revoke LFY’s license to operate in Ohio. LFY announced it won’t fight the decision and will cease to do business in the state.

Contact: (513) 794-9688,


Matthew Wendland, a 20-year-old Walt Disney World employee who dressed at the park as popular Disney characters Goofy and the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” was arrested on child pornography charges last month. Police were tipped off by Wendland’s roommates to the presence of more than 50 images of children under 18 in sexual poses.

Former San Antonio youth pastor Adrian Estrada received the death penalty last month for the December 2005 murder of his 17-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie Sanchez, and their unborn child. Estrada, 23, was a youth pastor at San Antonio’s El Sendero Assembly of God church. He was discovered to have had sexual relationships with Sanchez and two other girls from his youth group.


Dennis Moloney, 55, a national champion for restorative juvenile justice models who worked tirelessly to make his own corner of the country an example. Moloney headed the Deschutes County, Ore., Community Justice Department for more than 10 years, overseeing a move from retribution-oriented practices toward focusing on improving offenders’ chances of improving their lives.