Obama’s Transition Team for Youth-Serving Agencies

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Youth advocates are readying their appeals for a larger investment in youth services as members of president-elect Barack Obama's transition team are assessing the state of agencies and departments that might oversee those increased resources.

Hundreds of experts and Beltway veterans (many of them former staffer of President Bill Clinton) are involved in the agency review process. Youth Today is rounding up the names of those assigned to agencies and programs of interest to our readers. Sources familiar with the transition say that in some cases, transition team members are not assigned to specific programs. We will update this list as we learn more.


Child Nutrition

David Lazarus

Bio: Former legislative assistant to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

Corporation for National and Community Service

Shirley Sagawa

Bio: Co-founder of Sagawa/Jospin, a consulting firm that serves a number of youth-serving nonprofits ... Deputy Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton ... helped draft legislation that created the Corporation for National Service and AmeriCorps, then served as its first chief operating and policy officer ... Got her start in Washington as chief counsel for youth policy for the Senate Labor Committee.

Deborah Jospin

Bio: Co-Founder of Sagawa/Jospin ... Director of AmeriCorps from 1997 to 2001, during which time AmeriCorps grew from an annual budget of $150 million, with 18,000 members serving in 350 programs, to an annual budget of $234 million, with 60,000 members serving in 925 programs ... co-chair of the Friends of AmeriCorps Alums and as a board member of ServeNext. 

Michael Camunez

Bio: Partner in O'Melveny's Los Angeles office and a member of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations and the International Practices ... Clinton's senior policy advisor for national service from 1993 to 1995 ... served on the administration-wide Working Group on Welfare Reform from 1991 to 1993.

Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

George Askew

Bio:  Deputy CEO for Voices for America's Children ... former executive director of Docs for Tots, a national network of doctors advocating for improved health services for young children.

Olivia Golden

Bio: Senior Fellow at Urban Institute ... director of operations for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (for one year (2007) ... director of Child and Family Services Agency, the child welfare department in Washington, D.C., 2001 to 2004 ... held two leadership positions at the Department of Health and Human Services, led ACF under former President Clinton.

Joan Lombardi

Bio: Held two positions within the Administration for Children and Families under President Clinton: deputy assistant HHS secretary for children and families and associate commissioner of the Child Care Bureau ... author of "Time to Care: Redesigning Child Care to Promote Education, Support Families, and Build Communities."

Health Resources and Services Administration

Earl Fox

Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine ... founding director of the Florida Public Health Institute ... HRSA Administrator during the Clinton administration ... helped develop the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Housing and Urban Development

Homeless programs; Community Planning and Development

Henry Fernandez

Bio: Currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, focusing on state and municipal policy ... Founding Executive Director of  LEAP, a nationally recognized child development program serving over 1,200 low income youth, primarily public housing residents, in Connecticut.


Office of Justice Programs

Laurie Robinson

Bio: Director of the University of Pennsylvania's new professional Master of Science Program in Criminology ... Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, overseeing the Office of Justice Programs, 1993 to 2000 ... led the American Bar Association criminal justice programs for 14 years before leading OJP.


Employment and Training Administration

Ed Montgomery

Bio: Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at University of Maryland ...  served in three positions at DOL during the Clinton administration: deputy secretary of the Department of Labor, chief economist for DOL, and assistant secretary of labor for policy.

Seth Harris

Bio: Director of Labor & Employment Law Programs at New York Law School ... Chair of Obama for America's Labor, Employment, and Workplace Policy Committee ... counselor to the secretary of Labor and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy during the Clinton administration.

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Gustavo Arnavat

Bio: Director and senior legal counsel, Citibank, New York...board of directors for the DEA Educational Foundation, whose mission is to fight drug abuse through education.


  • Karen Johnson

    Just started a youth assocation and would welcome any ideas, comments, criticisms and help!

  • Donald Taylor

    Thank you for this comprehensive list. Might it also serve our field well to provide the contact information when available so that we may encourage appropriate advocacy for children’s issues?