Newsmakers for May 2007

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Wade Horn stepped down last month as head of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and it’s no surprise that opinions about his tenure are strong.

Most notably, as assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, Horn was the public face of the Bush administration’s drive to boost funding of abstinence education, which rose from $10 million in 1997 to $176 million this year.

“The six-year legacy of the Bush administration leaves them [children and families] worse off than before,” said Michael Petit, founder and president of Every Child Matters, a Washington-based advocacy group.

Although Horn drew fire by pushing issues dear to the hearts of so-called social conservatives, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said Horn “significantly improved the lives of vulnerable children and strengthened the American family.”

Daniel Schneider, who joined ACF in 2005 as principal deputy assistant secretary, is now the acting assistant secretary.

Horn joins Deloitte & Touche LLP, known for its well-oiled lobbying efforts and as the American component of a global marketing colossus, with more than 30,000 employees.

With his background in child psychology, Horn served under President George H.W. Bush as commissioner for children, youth and families (part of ACF) from 1989 until President Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. Horn is closely identified with the Gaithersburg, Md.-based National Fatherhood Initiative, where he served first as director, then president, until he was tapped by President George W. Bush in 2001.

Several health education organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, have criticized Horn for championing abstinence-only programs that they claimed were ineffective and siphoned off funding for more realistic comprehensive programs.

Leavitt, on the other hand, said that “under Wade’s leadership, we … launched the first-ever healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood grants … and created a strong partnership with faith-based organizations.” Contact: (202) 401-9215,

Georgia State Child Advocate Dee Simms has been asked to run the Fulton County (Atlanta) child welfare office that she criticized for incompetence and child abuse in a blistering report. Gov. Sonny Perdue asked Simms to consider filling the post of the last director, who fled after the report made headlines. Simms answered that she would take the position if she had “full autonomy,” with no interference from the director of the county’s Division of Family and Children Services or from the commissioner of the state’s Department of Human Resources.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, some state political observers term this a “game of chicken” to see who blinks first. They say the governor is trying to show that Simms can dish out criticism but can’t take responsibility, and that Simms is purposely issuing unrealistic stipulations. Stay tuned. Contact: (404) 651-9361,



Kenneth L. Gladish, who recently stepped down as national executive director of the YMCA of the USA, is the new director of the Grantmaking School of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, based at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. The school is the nation’s first university-based program for training charitable foundation program officers in the techniques of grant making. Gladish has also been appointed distinguished professor of Nonprofit Studies. Contact: (616) 331-2221,

Shirley Sagawa has joined the D.C.-based Center for American Progress as a visiting fellow, working on national service policy. Founded in 2003, the center is the brainchild of John Podesta, who was chief of staff to President Clinton from 1998 to 2001. Podesta’s self-described liberal think tank was set up to balance the conservative views of such institutions as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Contact: (202) 682-1611,

Miriam Aroni Krinsky departs the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles on May 1, after five years of service. Krinsky stepped aside as executive director late last year and continued as special director of policy and reform initiatives. She is noted for her input into the research and activities of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care.

A four-person team of lawyers now serves as interim co-directors: Leslie Starr Heimov, David Estep, Marc Leftwich and Ivy Lewis Carey. Krinsky will continue to be involved in the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care. Contact: (323) 980-1700,

The nonprofit National 4-H Council, based in Chevy Chase, Md., named three new members to its board of trustees: Lily Bentas, CEO of the convenience store chain Cumberland Farms; Thomas Coon, director of Michigan State University’s 4-H Extension; and Joseph Dzialo, president of Lee Jeans. Contact: (301) 961-2972,

Public/Private Ventures recently hired Gary L. Surmay as director of government relations. He will focus on policy issues at the city and state levels, including policies related to ex-prisoner and juvenile re-entry, and programs for high-risk youth. Surmay served for nine years as director of community and supportive services for the Housing Authority of Elizabeth, N.J. In this role, he managed an economic and community development program aimed at helping residents make the transition from public to private housing.

Contact: (212) 822-2400,

Lynette Brown-Sow has been elected to a three-year term as board chairwoman of Youth Advocate Programs (YAP). She replaces YAP founder Tom Jeffers, who will remain on as board member emeritus. Jeffers served as YAP president and chief operating officer for 27 years.

CEO Jeff Fleischer said Brown-Sow’s energy will be invaluable in “helping us to govern our organization.” Also, Martin D’Urso was named chief of legal and corporate affairs at YAP, based in Harrisburg, Pa. Contact: (717) 232-7580,

Former IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson has been selected as the new president and chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, making him the fifth boss at the $6 billion organization in the past six years.

After serving as the nation’s top tax man since 2003, Everson now enters a taxing situation: The Red Cross’ most recent president, Marsha Evans, was hounded out of office after the agency’s inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina. Evans, who is a former national executive director of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., was preceded by Bernadette Healey, who was shown the door by an activist board over disputes about contributions that flooded in after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Everson will take over from Interim Director Jack McGuire. Healey told The Washington Post that Everson will need “a lot of courage and guts.” Contact: (703) 206-6000,



Iris Chen has been named the new president and CEO of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation. The foundation began in East Harlem in 1981, and reports that it now encompasses 196 programs involving 15,000 low-income children in 16 states, Washington and New Zealand. Its many chapters provide long-term mentoring, after-school programs and tuition assistance for higher education and vocational school. The foundation has benefited from congressional earmarks, such as the $1.5 million from the Department of Justice in 2003.

Chen, who said she plans to “scale up” the foundation’s operations by reaching more students nationwide, is finishing a five-year stint as executive director of New York-based Teach for America. Contact: (212) 293-5480,


Ann Beeson is the new director of U.S. programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI), based in New York and funded by billionaire George Soros. Beeson goes to OSI after 12 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she specialized in national security, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights and social justice. OSI President Aryeh Neier lauded Beeson as a “fitting successor” to outgoing director Gara LaMarche, who recently moved on to become president of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

OSI says that in her new job, Beeson will focus on civil liberties protections, criminal justice reform and “breaking down barriers” for the disenfranchised. Contact: (212) 548-0381,

The New York-based Nonprofit Finance Fund has picked Garvester Kelley as its new vice president of the mid-Atlantic region, covering New Jersey, Delaware and the Philadelphia area. Kelley left a post as a senior project manager at Public/Private Ventures, where he was responsible for youth violence prevention projects. Contact: (212)-868-6710,

Jeffrey Zell becomes president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, which says it provides resources to “create programs that educate, entertain and inspire seriously ill children.” Zell is founder and president of JM Zell Partners, a commercial real estate consulting firm. Both organizations are based in Washington. Contact: (202) 293-7821,


Cal Ripken Jr. has announced a collaboration between the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Major League Baseball to expand MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth outreach program, which is supported by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. (See “Reviving Jackie Robinson,” April 2000.) The collaboration includes the foundation’s annual Play Ball! Tour for Kids, which plans to visit 15 cities this year to present cash grants and equipment packages to selected RBI programs.

“The tour will allow us to introduce our programming in many new cities … to encourage the continued development of young people in these communities through solid baseball and softball programs,” Steve Salem, the foundation’s executive director, said in a prepared statement. Contact: (877) RIPKEN1,


Two former executives of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, N.Y., recently dodged jail time in a fraud scheme in which they stole $1.2 million from the club to buy beachfront property and cars, and to donate $875,000 to the radio network Air America – a pet project, they said, of another Boys & Girls Club executive, Evan Montvel-Cohen.

Charles Rosen and Jeffrey Aulenbach – who served, respectively, as director and deputy director of the club – pleaded guilty to grand larceny, a felony. Although thousands of Bronx residents signed petitions calling for jail sentences, each man was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and prohibited from accepting employment at a nonprofit for three years.

“I just think it was a travesty of justice, but that’s the way it goes here in New York,” Juanita Garrido, a sister of club founder Gloria Wise, told The New York Times. Wise died in 1993. Contact: (718) 798-6670,