Newsmakers for February 2010

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Nonprofits

After a long national search, the Oakland, Calif.-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency has chosen from within its ranks a successor to Barry Krisberg, its president of 14 years. Taking the helm at NCCD is Executive Vice President Chris Baird, who has overseen the NCCD office in Madison, Wis., since 1985. That office is home to NCCD’s Children’s Research Center.

Krisberg, meanwhile, moves to the University of California-Berkeley’s Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. He will be a senior fellow at the center and teach juvenile justice at Cal’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Until recently, the center was led by David Onek, who has left it in the hands of his deputy director, Andrea Russi. Onek did not return a call asking what his plans are for the future.

Oakland will remain the headquarters of the organization, but Baird is not moving. He will run things from the Madison office and plans to work about one week a month in Oakland. NCCD’s other office, the Center for Girls and Young Women in Jacksonville, Fla., is led by Lawanda Ravoira. Contact: (510) 208-0500, http://www.nccd.-crc.org.

Joyce Roche, the longtime CEO of New York-based Girls Inc., has announced that she will retire in April. Roche, who went to the national organization from corporate America, has guided Girls Inc. through a slew of financial downturns. Girls Inc. provides educational and youth development programs to girls at its nearly 1,000 local sites.

During her tenure, Girls Inc.’s network of local affiliates grew in number by 35 percent. The organization plans to conduct a national search for Roche’s replacement, and the Lilly Endowment has given them $25,000 to help. Contact: (212) 509-2000, http://www.girlsinc.org.

Andrew Muñoz left the Academy for Educational Development (AED) in January to become a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education.

Muñoz went to AED in the spring of 2007 from Boston-based City Year, where he was vice president of research and development for five years. He was co-director of AED’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research with Bonnie Politz, who will again lead the center on her own. Contact: (202) 884-8000, http://cydpr.aed.org.

Philadelphia-based Public/Private Ventures’ new President Nadya Shmavonian took the helm of the financially troubled nonprofit on Jan. 1.

Shmavonian begins her tenure during financially dark days for the organization, which researches and conducts programs to assist low-income families and children, including its well-known Amachi mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. P/PV has shrunk from 80 full-time employees in 2007 to a current total of 47.

Shmavonian has been an independent consultant, but before that she was the Rockefeller Foundation’s vice president for strategy. Before that job, she spent 12 years as an executive vice president for another Philadelphia-based organization, Pew Charitable Trusts.

She took over from Vice President Geri Summerville, who had served as P/PV’s interim leader since Fred Davie left in April.

One of the people let go by P/PV was Jeffrey Butts, its vice president of research – a shocker for two reasons. One, Butts is a big name in youth research, and two, he was only hired a year ago, lured away from a senior fellow position at Chicago’s Chapin Hall.

Less shocking is the fact that Butts did not last long on the open market. New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice hired him to serve as executive director of its Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center.

The college, part of the City University of New York, is headed by Jeremy Travis, who in 2008 was tapped by New York Gov. David Paterson to chair the New York State Juvenile Justice Task Force. Between that task force’s work and attention from the U.S. Department of Justice, the state is poised for a major overhaul of its juvenile justice system.

New York City’s juvenile justice operations are being folded into its child welfare system, which is headed by Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner John Mattingly.

Butts will be responsible for developing research in collaboration with John Jay faculty. He anticipates he will be able to take on national research and evaluation projects as well.

He takes over the 20-year-old center from Nancy Jacobs, who is retiring. Wendy McClanahan took over for Butts as vice president of research at P/PV. Contact: P/PV (2150 557-440, http://www.ppv.org; John Jay (212) 237-8620, http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/academics/611.php.

Mai Fernandez is the new executive director of the D.C.-based National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), a 25-year-old resource and advocacy organization. Fernandez was the acting director and strategic director of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), a multiservice nonprofit in Washington that conducts programs at its youth centers and public charter schools.

Before spending 13 years with LAYC, Fernandez was a special assistant on domestic and youth violence for the U.S. Department of Justice. Before that she was as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. In the 1980s, she served as a congressional aide to Reps. Mickey Leland (D-Texas) and Jim Florio (D-N.J.).

Fernandez, who takes over in June, can expect to find at least one good friend at the Justice Department. The principal deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Justice Programs, Mary Lou Leary, held Fernandez’s new job at NCVC for four years before joining the administration in May of 2009. Contact: (202) 467-8714, http://www.ncvc.org.

Volunteers of America CEO Chuck Gould announced that he will leave the organization after 15 years. Gould will step down in June at the end of his third five-year term.

“In 1995, the organization served just under 1 million people,” said Board Chairman David Kikumoto. “Today, the number served has increased to 2 million in over 400 communities. Chuck has been an inspiration, and his leadership will be missed.”

A national search has begun to replace Gould, Kikumoto said. That person will inherit an organization with an eye on recruiting heavily from members of the Baby-Boomer generation, who are heading into their senior years. Contact: (800) 899-0089, http://www.voa.org.

Cynthia Allen Smith has been named chief development officer for Clearwater, Fla.-based Eckerd Youth Alternatives, the 40-year-old multiservice organization with programs in nine states: Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Louisiana.

Eckerd hopes Smith can do for them what she helped do for the Central Florida YMCA. In her 10 years leading development for the organization, she assisted in increasing the annual operating budget from $15 million to $65 million. Smith also oversaw Central Florida YMCA’s $100 million New Frontier capital campaign. During her tenure, membership at the club (a true barometer of financial health for any Y) grew from 173 to 3,817.

Eckerd is led by CEO David Dennis. Contact: (800) 554-4357, http://www.eckerd.org.

William Trueheart, the former president of Bryant University in Rhode Island, is the new CEO of Achieving the Dream, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based national initiative that seeks to help community colleges graduate more students.

With the growing emphasis on degree attainment, Trueheart said, “There is no more important time for Achieving the Dream to be successful, and I look forward to the challenge.”

Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, Trueheart served as CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation, and before that was CEO of Reading is Fundamental. Contact: http://www.achievingthedream.org.

The America’s Promise Alliance (AP), a 12-year-old youth advocacy and policy shop based in Washington, D.C., named five board members in December. They are: Margaret Spellings, former U.S. secretary of education; Michael Powell, former Federal Communications Commission chairman and son of AP Founder Colin Powell and Alma Powell, the current chairwoman; Raul Fernandez, chairman of ObjectVideo; Harold E. Ford Jr., former congressman from Tennessee and vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Charlene Lake, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for AT&T. Contact: (202) 657-0600, http://www.americaspromise.org.

Government

Pamela Hyde was confirmed by the Senate to serve as administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Hyde was the New Mexico secretary of health and human services under Gov. Bill Richardson (D) for seven years. Contact: (877) 726-4727, http://www.samhsa.gov.

Inching closer to the goal line is Patrick Corvington, whose nomination to serve as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service was approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Corvington was senior associate in the Leadership Development Unit for the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, and also serves as senior adviser to Casey Executive Vice President Ralph Smith. Corvington needs only approval by the full Senate, which is highly likely.

Meanwhile, the last permanent CEO of the corporation, David Eisner, was tapped to be the new CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The center is a nonprofit organization focused on (what else?) increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Contact: (202) 606-5000, http://www.cns.gov.

Newsmakers neglected to report on this in the fall, but Yvette Sanchez Fuentes was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the Office of Head Start, another division of ACF. Fuentes joins the administration from the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association.

Fuentes will be under the hot light now, because ACF released a report to Congress last month showing that while Head Start benefits its clients through kindergarten, they were essentially even with a control group of non-Head Start children after first grade. Expansion and enrichment of Head Start is a big part of Obama’s children and youth policy agenda, and ACF will be in charge of tightening up quality control and program improvement at the federal level. Contact: (202) 401-9215, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs/.

Two state juvenile justice leaders have made noteworthy advances in elected offices. In Virginia, former Department of Juvenile Justice head David Marsden (D) narrowly won a special election over Republican Steve Hunt and will represent part of Fairfax County in the state Senate. In addition to overseeing juvenile justice, Marsden was a two-term member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

In Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland (D), seeking re-election this year, picked Yvette McGee Brown to be his running mate. Brown, 49, was a juvenile judge in Columbus from 1993 until 2002, before joining the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she has been president for the past eight years.

Washington, D.C., advocates got together in January to bid a fond farewell to Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Director Vincent Schiraldi, who left this month to become the probation commissioner of New York City, his hometown.

His new post places him in charge of New York City’s entire probation caseload, juvenile and adult, marking a return to the adult side of justice for Schiraldi. He co-founded the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice in 1985, and later created the Justice Policy Institute.

Schiraldi enters the New York City system at a fascinating time in its history. The state is attempting a major overhaul of its juvenile justice system, and efforts to incarcerate fewer New York City youth will be paramount in that venture. Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that the city juvenile justice system would come under the control of the Administration for Children’s Services, headed by Commissioner John Mattingly.

Crime

The tenure of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, whose administration has made strides toward revamping one of the most troubled child welfare agencies in the nation, comes to an abrupt and inauspicious end on Feb. 4. Last month, Dixon agreed to resign as part of a plea agreement in a perjury case, and in December she was convicted on charges stemming from the embezzlement of gift cards that were supposed to go to needy families in the city.

Passages

Paula Nowakowski, 46, chief of staff to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) former chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. Nowakowski, who died of an apparent heart attack, helped write the “Contract with America,” the document that spurred the election of a new wave of Republicans to Congress in 1994 and laid out the blueprint for welfare reform reached between the party and former president Bill Clinton (D).

John Bess, 57, founder of The Valley Inc., once considered to be among the best youth-serving programs in New York City. Bess, who was a graduate of Columbia University Business School’s Not-for- Profit Institute, served as a national consultant on youth development for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Communities Initiative.