Newsmakers for February 2008

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Emily DeRocco left her post at the U.S. Department of Labor in January. DeRocco was the assistant secretary in charge of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), which funds the vast majority of federally supported youth-related job-training programs. She leaves to head the worker training program at the National Association of Manufacturers, which is funded by ETA.

That leaves Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas Small as the highest-listed official at the ETA. The other deputy assistant secretary, Mason Bishop, left in November to become vice president of institutional advancement at Salt Lake Community College. Contact: (202) 693-2700,

Scott Burns was confirmed in late December as deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Burns was a county attorney in Iron County, Utah, for 16 years before joining ONDCP, part of the Executive Office of the President, in 2002. Burns has served as the principal adviser on state and tribal issues for drug czar John Walters. Contact: (800) 666-3332,

Richard Nedelkoff, a longtime soldier for President George W. Bush and former head of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the U.S. Department of Justice, has been tapped by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to serve as conservator of the troubled Texas Youth Commission (TYC).

Nedelkoff will keep one foot in the nonprofit world: He’s the chief operating officer of Clearwater, Fla.-based Eckard Youth Alternatives, a multiservice agency serving youth in seven states, and will split his time between that job and TYC. Nedelkoff, the third person to take the conservator job in three years, will preside over an intense battle over the future of the state juvenile justice system. Recent state legislation directed Texas counties to deal with all juveniles committing misdemeanors or lower-level crimes, and guaranteed more money for community-based programs to serve as alternatives to incarceration.

Nedelkoff served Bush, when he was governor, and Perry as executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Division from 1998 to 2001, before joining Bush in Washington to run BJA. Contact: (512) 424-6130,

Olivia Golden has returned to her post as a senior fellow at the Washington-based Urban Institute after only a year as director of state operations for New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D). Golden guided the Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism project from 2004 to 2007 after heading Washington’s Child and Family Services Agency in 2004.

What’s going on with the vetting system at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services? Two of the system’s detention center chiefs have had their pasts catch up to them recently.

Chris Perkins, head of the detention center in Frederick, quit in December after allegations surfaced that he had abused children at a now-defunct Montana boot camp, Swan Valley, run by Cornerstone Programs Corp. And in January, reports surfaced that the acting superintendent at Baltimore County’s Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, Wallis Norman, had been forced to resign under threat of termination from his previous position as assistant director of the state’s Griffin Regional Youth Detention Center. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced a $200 million overhaul of the state’s juvenile detention systems in the coming year. Contact: (888) 639-7499,


Two Pennsylvania youth workers will stand trial for their involvement in what investigators are calling an 18-person, multimillion-dollar drug ring. They are Hasshan Batts, the 32-year-old director of children’s services at Northwestern Human Services in Allentown, Pa., and Oni Chambers, 24, who worked for KidsPeace. (For more on KidsPeace, see page 1.) Batts was allegedly in possession of five kilograms of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana and six guns when police served a warrant on his house, according to news reports.

Federal prosecutors in January charged Edgardo Vilas, a 42-year-old teacher at the Rancho del Campo juvenile probation camp in California, with possession of child pornography. His arrest stems from a probe of an Internet-based porn ring that allegedly operated 200 child exploitation sites.


Elaine Johnson

Elaine Johnson, vice president of the D.C.-based Academy for Educational Development, has announced that she will retire. Johnson directs the organization’s National Training Institute for Community Youth Work within the U.S. Education and Workforce Development Group. That group is part of the National Institute for Work and Learning, headed by Ivan Charner.

Johnson, who has worked for the D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund and as a regional director for Camp Fire USA in Kansas City, Mo., joined the academy in 1991. She has been instrumental in developing the national training institute’s BEST Network (Building Exemplary Systems for Training youth workers). BEST is available to about 40 communities, according to AED, and helps to implement youth development training for the people working with youth at local agencies and nonprofits. Contact: (202) 884-8334,

Sean Rush

Sean Rush is the new CEO of Junior Achievement, which strives to instill business skills and entrepreneurial instincts in youth. Rush was general manager of Global Education Industry at IBM in its Boston office. Junior Achievement, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., increased its annual revenue to $43.6 million in 2007, up $10 million from the previous year. It operates 140 U.S. offices. Contact: (719) 540-8000,

Families International has hired John Schmidt as chief financial officer. The Milwaukee-based nonprofit is a parent holding company for the Alliance for Children and Families, headed by Peter Goldberg, as well as for Ways to Work, FEI Behavioral Health and United Neighborhood Centers of America. Schmidt comes from across town, where he held the same title for the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for five years. Contact: (414) 359-1040,

The National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) hired Gemar Neloms to serve as director of professional development and Christina Weeter as a policy associate. Neloms has experience working with large youth-serving organizations: She was a regional executive director for Public Allies, a Milwaukee-based leadership and civic action organization with 15 sites around the country, and before that served as a regional director for Alexandria, Va.-based Communities in Schools. Weeter was a research and curriculum design associate for Early Childhood Associates, a Boston company.

NYEC, led by Executive Director Mala Thakur, represents more than 250 members that include public agencies, direct service providers and advocates that invest in employment opportunities and career preparation for youth. Contact: (202) 659-1064,

The Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts of America has made Colin French its executive director. French was the senior endowment counsel and serves under new Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca, who replaced Roy Williams in August. BSA reports that it has 300 councils, 1.2 million volunteers and approximately 2.6 million scouts. Its peak was 4.3 million scouts in the 1970s, when the Baby Boomers were growing up. Contact: (772) 580-2000,

After 22 years overseeing the Social Work with Groups Newsletter, a primary product of the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups (AASWG), John Ramey is calling it a career. Ramey, who has edited 61 of the newsletter’s 63 issues, was a professor at the University of Akron until retiring in 1989. He was also AASWG’s general secretary for 25 years, until 2002, but kept the editing role after leaving that post.

The organization’s secretary, Michael Wagner, the director of permanency at the New York-based Children’s Aid Society, will edit the newsletter. Contact: (732) 669-7852,

The Children’s Defense Fund rather quietly bid adieu to longtime research director Paul Smith, who retired without fanfare after being with the organization for all of its 35 years. Smith was hot out of the gate, designing the survey for CDF’s first study, Children Out of School in America, in 1974. Its findings led to enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (now the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

Meanwhile, Rebecca Beauregard was hired as director of government relations. Beauregard was the mayor of Cranbury, N.J., and her Beltway experience includes a stint as staff director to the House Select Committee on Aging’s housing subcommittee.


CDF got some free publicity during the Democratic presidential candidate debate in South Carolina in January. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), touting her experience working on poverty issues, told about how she eschewed the legal world after graduating from law school to work for CDF and Marian Wright Edelman, its founder.

Yet to be determined: whether Edelman returns the favor. CDF counts Clinton among its former employees. But the organization grew out of the civil rights movement that helped enable Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to become a major presidential candidate, and CDF focuses its efforts on improving the quality of life for poor kids, a centerpiece of John Edwards’ campaign.

Federal records show that Edelman donated $1,000 to Clinton’s Senate campaign in 2000. Her husband, Georgetown professor Peter Edelman, has supported Clinton’s and Obama’s Senate campaigns in the past. Contact: (800) 233-1200,

Richard Martinez Jr. is the new CEO of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, based in Denver. The organization oversees the Young Americans Bank – which since 1987 has avoided messes like the recent sub-prime lending scandal by serving only people under 22 – and seven other nonprofit programs designed to teach youth about finances and economics. Martinez has been with the organization since 1999, serving most recently as chief financial officer.Contact: (303) 321-2265,

The Washington-based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools hired Robert Boyd to be chief operating officer under its president, Nelson Smith. Boyd was executive director for the “heartland region” for

The alliance also recently elected four new board members: New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein; former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson; Whitney Tilson, who helped get Teach for America off the ground; and Josh Edelman, who heads the new schools office of the Chicago Public Schools. Contact: (202) 289-2700,

Stephen Glaude

Stephen Glaude, former undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is in as the new executive director of Men Can Stop Rape, a national organization whose funders include the Commonweal Foundation and the Ms. Foundation for Women. The nonprofit operates a school-based component, the Men of Strength Club, which has been touted by the National Crime Prevention Council, run by CEO Alfonso Lenhardt.

Men Can Stop Rape has been led by co-founder Patrick Lemmon since its inception 10 years ago. Contact: (202) 265-6530,

The National Geographic Society hired Daniel Edelson, a professor of learning sciences at Northwestern University, to be vice president of education and children’s programs, and executive director of its education foundation. The society’s programs, including the National Geographic Bee, promote geographic literacy. Since its inception in 1988, the foundation has made $75 million in grants toward that end. Contact: (202) 828-5664,

Nonprofits doing summer camp programs: You might want to think about making the godfather an offer he can’t refuse. He doesn’t have a foundation, but director-turned-executive producer Francis Ford Coppola might be attuned to your cause. In an interview for The New York Times, reporter Deborah Salmon asked him how he wanted to be remembered. “I want it remembered that I really liked children and was a good camp counselor,” he replied. Coppola was a drama counselor in his younger days. Contact: (415) 788-7900,

The Westport, Conn.-based Save the Children hired Anne-Marie Grey to be its vice president of leadership giving. Grey was chief of international and corporate alliances for UNICEF, where she helped create a five-fold increase in UNICEF’s corporate revenues. Contact: (800) 728-3843,

New York-based Local Initiatives Support Corp., which offers technical support and training to organizations seeking to serve distressed communities, named Mariano Diaz as its Western regional vice president. Diaz, who will work from San Diego, was a vice president at the San Diego Community Foundation. Contact: (212) 455-9800,


Mason Granger has been tapped by William Randolph Hearst Foundation Executive Director Paul Dinovitz to replace longtime program director of grants Ilene Mack. Granger, who took over Jan. 7, was the president and general manager of WDSU-TV in New Orleans.

Mack had served in that role for the grant maker (assets: $1 billion) since 1974. One source close to Mack and the foundation says Mack was pushed to resignation by Dinovitz, who took over for the retiring Robert Frehse. Frehse, like Mack, had been with Hearst since the 1970s. Contact: (212) 586-5404,

The California Wellness Foundation’s communications officer, Julio Marcial, has been moved to a program director position. Marcial, who has been with at TCWF for 10 years, most recently oversaw communications reviews of the foundation’s campaigns on teenage pregnancy and violence prevention. Contact: (818) 702-1900,


Debra Delgado, 50, a respected veteran on grant making for youth programs in the foundation world. Most recently a program executive for Atlantic Philanthropies, Delgado held leadership positions at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s program office for school-based health health care.

Glenn Ferguson, 78, the first director of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Ferguson was associate director at the Peace Corps from 1964 to 1966, and headed VISTA, created by President Lyndon Johnson to serve as a domestic complement to the Peace Corps. The organization was brought under the purview of AmeriCorps during the Clinton administration.