Newsmakers for May 2003


The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), an Ashburn, Va.-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts, named John Thorner to be its new executive director. Thorner has more than 20 years of association management experience and previously served as CEO of the Optical Society of America in Washington. Thorner replaces Destry Jarvis, who left in the fall to start his own business, a Virginia-based for-profit named Outdoor Recreation and Park Services. Former NRPA president and founding member Robert Hall had served as interim director since Jarvis’ departure.
Contact: NRPA (703) 858-0784,


James Dobson, the founder and longtime president of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, announced that he would relinquish day-to-day operations to friend and board member Don Hodel, former president of the Chesapeake, Va.-based Christian Coalition and former secretary of the interior under Ronald Reagan.

Dobson’s move is of little surprise: Focus is badly in need of money. The Christian family values organization recently laid off 34 of its 1,300 staff, and cut $5 million from its annual budget of $130 million. Dobson will continue to host a radio show while stepping up his writing and speaking engagements. Contact: (800) 232-6459,


Cindy Costello is the new director of state and local action for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, based in Washington. She replaces Karen Troccoli. Costello will lead “Putting What Works to Work,” a new project funded by the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before joining the National Campaign, Costello ran her own consulting business, working with organizations that included the American Sociological Association and the Women’s Research and Education Institute. She is also the senior editor of the recently published The American Woman 2003-2004: Daughters of a Revolution -Young Women Today. Contact: (202) 478-8500,


The Baltimore-based International Youth Foundation (IYF), the 50-country youth development organization, has added to its board Douglas Becker, chairman and CEO of tutoring behemoth Sylvan Learning Systems, also based in Baltimore. Sylvan, a publicly traded company, recently announced it would focus its efforts solely on post-secondary education. Becker expects the Sylvan international online university programs to serve 200,000 students and generate $1 billion over the next four years.

Sylvan Learning Centers is one of the accredited sources for tutoring mandated for students at underperforming public schools by President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act.

The announcement comes a month after IYF hired a new CEO, David Hornbeck, to replace the retiring founder of the 13-year-old foundation, Rick Little.

The Global Alliance for Workers and Communities, a 4-year-old initiative of IYF, ended its search for an executive director at the doorstep of James Peirce. Peirce was a vice president for consumer marketing in Singapore for Electrolux, a Swedish household manufacturer, from 1994 until 2000, when he returned to the states to get a master’s degree in public management. Global Alliance was created in 1999 to improve the workplace experience and life opportunities for workers in developing countries. Contact: IYF (410) 347-1500,; Global Alliance (410) 951-1500,


Child Trends, a Washington nonprofit research group headed by Kristin Moore, added and shifted some jobs last month. Added to the staff was Karen Wise Jaffe, former executive director of KIDSNET, a national clearinghouse for children’s electronic media. Jaffe will serve as vice president of external relations, directing media relations, outreach to policy-makers and practitioners, and product development and dissemination.

Martha Zaslow is moving from the welfare and poverty division to direct early child development. Taking over for Zaslow, who has been with Child Trends for 10 years, is former data and measurement director Richard Wertheimer, who has spent six years at Child Trends studying children in working poor families, teen and nonmarital fertility, and vulnerable youth transitioning to adulthood (especially foster children). Taking over for him will be Laura Lippman, who went to Child Trends two years ago from the National Center for Education Statistics. Lippman is tasked with leading several research endeavors: developing new positive indicators of child well-being, developing indicators of the social context of families, conducting surveys on the public perception of child well-being, and conducting cross-national analyses of family processes and education outcomes. Contact: (202) 362-5580,


When Alabama voters told former Gov. Don Siegelman to take a hike last November, his press secretary, Mike Kanarick, may have missed the idiom. Kanarick and his wife, lawyer Liz Kleinberg, began hiking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise money for the D.C.-based Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) in late March. Kanarick is a veteran political staffer, and Kleinberg is a law fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. The two started in Amicalola Falls, Ga., and will be posting updates on the CWLA website. Contact: (202) 638-2952,


Marie Trzupek Lynch has been appointed COO of the Chicago-based YMCA of the USA, the national headquarters for the 2,493 YMCAs in the United States. Lynch previously worked as a senior manager in the Management Solutions-Public Sector and Nonprofit division of auditing firm Deloitte & Touche. Contact: (312) 997-0031,


Jamie McAuliffe is the newest portfolio manager at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (assets: $713 million), a 34-year-old New York City grant-maker committed to improving the lives of people from low-income communities. Before joining the foundation, McAuliffe was based in Brazil with ontheFRONTIER, where he worked with small and medium-sized enterprises to develop their business strategies and competitive expertise. The foundation recently began a new grant-making approach that it calls “institution and field building,” designed to strengthen youth-serving organizations. That approach includes a recent $4 million grant to New York City-based Girls, Inc. Contact: (212) 551-9100,


The Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation has its 2003 class of Casey Fellows on board. They are participating in an 11-month program developing skill-building and field placement experience for “accomplished professionals.” The fellows (and their former affiliations) are: Jo-Anne Henry, a coordinator with the Dorchester CARES Patch family service collaboration program in Boston; Jorge Salazar, associate director of La Fe, a human services organization in El Paso, Texas; Janet Carter, vice president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund in San Francisco; Melorra Sochet, senior planner at the New York City-based Vera Institute of Justice; Monica Villalta, director of programs for Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care in Washington, D.C.; Tara Lea Mulhauser, assistant dean of the University of North Dakota School of Law; John Zalenski, associate director for technical assistance at the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family Centered Practice in Washington, D.C.; Valerie Russo, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Organizational Development at New York City’s Administration for Children and Families; Azim Ramelize, a senior attorney for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice; and Azadeh Khalil, executive director of the HIV/AIDS Technical Assistance Project in New York City. Contact: John Sullivan, Casey Foundation, (800) 222-1099,


Knowledge Works Foundation (assets: $200 million) in Cincinnati named three senior program officers. Harold Brown, former associate director of admissions for Miami University in Miami, Ohio, was named program director for school improvement. The foundation, which works to remove obstacles to educational opportunities in Ohio, also appointed Barbara Diamond to be program director for the communities and school facilities programs. Diamond previously served as counsel for policy development for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The foundation also named Brett Visger as program director of the college and career-access program. Contact: (513) 929-4777,


Beverly Watts Davis is the new director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Watts Davis goes to the executive branch by way of San Antonio, where she was president of the United Way of San Antonio and executive director of the San Antonio Fighting Back Anti-Drug Community Coalition, which has been heavily supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She will work under Charles Curie, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In other HHS news, President Bush nominated Dr. Charles Grim to be director of Indian Health Services (IHS). A longtime veteran of the Native American health field, Grim directed Indian health services in Oklahoma City and Phoenix. The fiscal 2004 IHS budget (total request: $2.9 billion) includes a $150 million prevention initiative to combat diabetes, a health risk of high concern among Native American youth. Contact: CSAP (301) 443-4795,; IHS (301) 443-1083,


Jennifer Gootman, study director for the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Children, Youth and Families, is leaving for New Zealand in July on a six-month Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy. The fellowship was created in 1995 to reinforce U.S.-New Zealand ties on social policy issues and seeks candidates who are “outstanding mid-career American professionals.” Gootman edited and disseminated “Community Programs to Promote Youth Development,” a major NAS study on youth development programs released in December 2002 (“Scientists Dissect Youth Development,” Dec./Jan. 2002). Contact: NAS (202) 334-2009,; Ian Axford Fellowships (212) 606-3851,


Stroz Friedberg, LLC, a leading cyber-crime, computer forensics and computer security firm based in New York, announced that Beryl Howell will run its new Washington office. Howell is the former general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and handled juvenile justice policy for former committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Contact: (202) 464-5800,


Joel Ehrlich was hired to be the new president of Youth Marketing International (YMI), a Monroe, Conn.-based youth marketing firm whose client list includes Levi-Strauss, McDonald’s, Kraft Foods and about 200 other high-profile corporations. Ehrlich was most recently a senior vice president at Warner Bros. Consumer Products/D.C. Comics. Contact: (203) 459-1562,


New Orleans police arrested seven youths for their alleged involvement in a school shooting last month that killed 15-year-old Jonathan Williams and injured two other teens. The shooters opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle and a semiautomatic handgun in McDonogh High School’s gymnasium in front of about 150 students. McDonogh uses metal detectors, and four armed security guards patrol the halls. The assailants appear to have entered through a rear alley.

Police believe the shooting was done to avenge the killing of another local teen, 18-year-old Hillard Smith. They are investigating reports that fellow students helped to set up Williams by leading him to sit close to a door and directing the shooters to him by cell phone. Police say the victim was carrying a loaded pistol.

One of the suspects in custody, 19-year-old Stephen Williams, told Judge Calvin Johnson a week before the killing that he feared that someone wanted him dead. Johnson had ordered Stephen Williams to a residential drug treatment facility in Houston after the teen pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen car. “We just didn’t have time to get him out of here,” says Johnson. “I told this child, ‘You really, really make me nervous.’ This is a troubled kid, with a teardrop in his eye. We got him too late.”


Iraqi citizens have suffered for years under harsh U.N. sanctions, but its fallen governing family really shouldn’t have any complaints about it. Among the liquor, heroin and large collection of pornography U.S. soldiers found in the compound of Uday Hussein (son of Saddam Hussein), they also found UNICEF packages of school supplies meant for Iraqi children. The kits contained basic classroom materials for both teachers and students.


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