Newsmakers for April 2007

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Andy Munoz is the newest leader at the Academy for Educational Development’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research.

After a stint as chief operating officer at the Search Institute in Minneapolis, Munoz left in 2002 to become vice president of research and program development for City Year, the Boston-based nonprofit known for coupling corporate and university partnerships with its program to establish major community service projects. Through its 17 sites around the country, City Year stands as one of the nation’s largest deployers of AmeriCorps volunteers.

Munoz is the second executive at City Year to leave recently. Co-founder and CEO Alan Khazei left in October for a fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

AED’s youth development center has been a steady voice promoting youth development infrastructure since it was first started in 1990 by Michele Cahill, now vice president at the Carnegie Corp., and Karen Pittman, now director of the Forum for Youth Investment. The center has helped foster a growing number of youth mapping projects, under the leadership of Eric Kilbride and Raul Ratcliffe.

Munoz, whose hiring brings the staff total to seven, will co-direct the center with Bonnie Politz. Politz was a senior program officer at the center before being promoted to co-direct it with Richard Murphy. He has since moved on to serve as executive director of Youthline America, which is in the process of creating a national toll-free help and information line operated by youth for youth.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to strengthen what we’re doing,” Politz says of Munoz’s arrival. “Andy brings both a qualitative and quantitative research background.” Contact: (202) 884-8000,

Sanchez Mills

Peggy Sanchez Mills has landed as the new CEO of the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA), which has been based in Baltimore but will move its headquarters to Washington.

Sanchez Mills stepped down as CEO of the YWCA USA after little more than a year, but had worked at the Tampa, Fla., YWCA since 1981. Her short tenure at the top was a momentous one for the organization: She oversaw its decentralization and its national admission of male board members.

NHSA promotes community-based maternal and child health programs with a particular eye toward reducing infant mortality, the incidence of low birth weight and racial disparities in successful parenting outcomes. Its 100 members are mostly programs operating federally funded Healthy Start projects around the country. Contact: (410) 525-1600,

After a decade flying solo, National Foster Care Coalition Executive Director Robin Nixon is finally bringing in help. The coalition hired Maria Garin Jones to serve as its assistant director.

The coalition is a nearly 10-year-old working group of 40 organizations advocating on behalf of children and youth who are or have been in foster care. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information on foster care and the process of youth aging out of the child welfare system.

Jones will oversee membership services and work on two of the coalition’s major projects: helping foster youth and former foster youth become advocates, and working with states to train supervisors on independent living issues.

Jones comes from the Child Welfare League of America, where she served as director of youth services. Nixon is a William T. Grant Foundation distinguished fellow, working with Mark Courtney of Chapin Hall to more effectively couple research and advocacy. Jones and Nixon will develop a strategic growth and specialization plan for the coalition, which is waiting to receive nonprofit status from the federal government. That would go a long way toward helping them increase its capital. Contact: (202) 756-4842,


The Milwaukee-based Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers of America hired Patrick Lester to be its vice president for public policy. Lester was director of public policy at United Way of America, based in Alexandria, Va. He will operate out of a Washington office.

The organizations also share an office in Milwaukee and are affiliated parts of a larger nonprofit, Families International (which also houses Ways to Work and for-profit FEI Behavioral Health).

At the alliance, Lester replaces Carmen Votaw, who retired at the end of last year. Contact: (414) 359-1040,

Josh Abner is in as communications director of National Safe Place, a Louisville-based organization headed by Executive Director Sandy Bowen. Safe Place operates through the YMCA of Greater Louisville and works with businesses and organizations to establish places where youth can go if they need help (such as if they feel threatened by someone). Last year, 9,000 youth received direct services from the nation’s 15,000 Safe Places. Contact: (888) 290-7233,

Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), who lost his re-election bid in a squeaker last fall to Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), has been hired by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), to serve as its Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar. YAF is one of the largest conservative outreach organizations in the nation, introducing youth (mostly college-age) to conservative ideology through seminars, conferences and activist projects. Allen is expected to join YAF’s campus lecture circuit as a regular speaker on social and fiscal conservatism.

The head cowboy at YAF’s Herndon ranch (the Reagan Ranch Center is in Santa Barbara, Calif.) is President Ron Robinson. His wife, Michelle Easton, was a Reagan appointee at the departments of Education and Justice whose time in the executive branch included a stint as head of the Missing Children’s Program at the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from 1985 to 1987. Contact: (800) 872-1776,


Kathy Patterson, a former D.C. city councilwoman, is the new federal policy director for Pre-K Now, a project of the Institute for Educational Leadership that is funded by Pew Charitable Trusts and headed by Executive Director Libby Doggett. Pre-K Now works with state advocates pushing for policies that support access to voluntary, high-quality pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.

Patterson ran for D.C. Council chairwoman last fall and lost in a landslide to Vincent Gray, former executive director of Covenant House Washington, ending her 12-year tenure on the council. Patterson has also served as communications director for the American Public Welfare Association, the trade group for state welfare departments, which widened its scope and became the American Public Human Services Association. Contact: (202) 862-9871,

Former National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) public policy guru Seth Turner is now doing his own thing as an independent consultant. Turner, who left NYEC for a similar job at the Association for Career and Technical Education in Alexandria, Va., counts Liz Ryan and her Campaign for Youth Justice among his first clients. In March the campaign put out its first major report, “The Consequences Aren’t Minor,” which looks at the impact of trying youths as adults in court. Contact:

Boston-based Jumpstart appointed George Askew to be its new CEO, replacing Rob Waldron. Askew is the founder and former executive director of Washington-based Docs for Tots, which helps doctors serve as advocates for children in the political and policy world. Jumpstart is a national program that provides early education opportunities to some 12,000 children by pairing them with trained adults in one-on-one relationships. Waldron will continue to serve on Jumpstart’s board of directors. Contact: (617) 542-5867,

The America’s Promise Alliance named three new members to its board of directors. They are: Dr. W. Wilson Goode, former mayor of Philadelphia and conceiver of the nationally acclaimed Amachi Program, which matches mentors with children of prisoners; Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; and Kathleen Murphy, group president of ING’s U.S. Worksite and Institutional Financial Services. Contact: (703) 684-4500,

Public/Private Ventures elected Matthew McGuire to serve as chairman of its board of directors, replacing Chairman Emeritus Siobhan Nicolau. McGuire is vice president of institutional marketing at Ariel Capital Management, a Chicago-based management firm. Contact: (215) 557-4400,

The Indianapolis-based Simon Youth Foundation, which helps improve life skills and career development for at-risk youth at its education resource centers, named four new members to its board of directors. They are: Tiffany Olson, CEO of Roche Diagnostics; Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools; Andrew Juster, treasurer and senior vice president of the Simon Property Group; and Susan Massela, vice president of human resources for Simon Property Group. Contact: (317) 263-2361,

Campbell & Company, the philanthropic fundraising and communications firm, is dividing its top leadership responsibilities. President Edith Falk, who has led the firm since 2001, shifts over to CEO, while senior vice president (and 13-year employee) Peter Fissinger becomes president.

The Chicago-based firm counts a number of Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scout councils and YMCAs, as well as the Points of Light Foundation, among its clientele. Contact: (877) 957-0000,


The New York-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (assets: $846 million) hired Jed Emerson to serve as senior fellow for research and evaluation. Emerson is perhaps best known in the field for his work on the Blended Value theory, which states roughly (in the words of that “organizations, whether for-profit or not, create value that consists of economic, social and environmental value components.”

Emerson might have set a record for most fellowships, having been a senior fellow at the Generation Foundation in the United Kingdom, and holding similar titles at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and at Oxford University’s Said Business School. Before those, he was executive director of what is now Larkin Street Youth Services, the well-known shelter and service provider for homeless and runaway youth in San Francisco that began in 1984 as a drop-in center. He is also responsible for developing San Francisco’s Juma Ventures, a multiple winner of PEPNet Awards that develops businesses to provide job opportunities for youth. Contact: (212) 551-9100,

Seattle-based Casey Family Programs (assets: $2.4 billion), an operating foundation dedicated solely to foster care reform and improvement, added two key staff members last month. Returning to Casey, this time as head of the foundation’s systems improvement work, is Kathy Barbell. Barbell, who was once director of Casey’s National Center for Resource Family Support, will work out of the foundation’s Washington office.

Her most recent employer was the Child Welfare League of America, where, as senior vice president of operations under former CEO Shay Bilchik, she developed the organization’s quality improvement process and redesigned its annual strategic planning process.

Jackie Contreras joins Casey in Seattle as senior director for strategic consulting. Contreras, a licensed clinical psychologist, has served for the past three years as deputy director at the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, which is responsible for direct services to more than 13,000 children and their families. Contact: (206) 282-7300,

The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (assets: $6 billion) hired Ben Stokes as program officer for digital learning and media. Stokes has promoted such learning media for years as co-founder of New York-based Games for Change, which provides support and visibility for organizations using digital games to promote social change. Contact: (312) 726-8000,

Laura Hogan was promoted to vice president of programs at the The California Endowment (assets: $3.7 billion) in late February. Hogan created the Los Angeles-based foundation’s Covering California Kids program, which helped the state simplify enrollment and expand coverage to reach the 800,000 youth who are without health insurance. Hogan also served as board president for the California Women’s and Children’s Health Coalition. Contact: (800) 449-4149,

The California Wellness Foundation (assets: $1.3 billion) named Elizabeth Gomez to serve as vice chairwoman of its board of directors. Gomez is executive director of the Los Angeles Youth Network, which provides shelter and support services to the city’s runaway and homeless youth. LAYN touts a high success rate: Eighty percent of youth who reach out to the nonprofit for help return safely to parents, foster parents or independent living programs, according to its website. Contact: (818) 702-1900,