Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez has been appointed vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s (AECF) Center for Systems Innovation. This role will have her oversee the operations of the center in its mission to lead national and state reform efforts in the areas of child welfare and juvenile justice. The appointment is a promotion from within AECF as Gasca-Gonzalez has served as director of its Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (JCYOI) for more than three years. In this position, she was responsible for leading its efforts to improve policies and practices that help youth successfully transition from foster care to adulthood. She is also an alumna of AECF’s Children and Family Fellowship, a leadership program for executives that have the potential to influence organizations and institutions to better serve children and families. Additionally, Gasca-Gonzalez is a graduate of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute as well as a recipient of an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard University. All of this is on top of her traditional education, in which she earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in psychology from Emporia State University and Southwestern College respectively.
After completion of her degrees, Gasca-Gonzalez would immediately focus her career on serving our nation’s youth. She got a job as chief program officer of Youthville, a Kansas-based nonprofit child welfare agency. After a four year stint there, she would move on to KVC Health Systems where she was hired as president of KVC Nebraska. She also worked on assignment from KVC in Washington, D.C. to help its Child and Family Services Agency in their efforts to reform and provide dramatically better outcomes for those served. Fewer than three years later, Gasca-Gonzalez would be promoted to the national stage of KVC; becoming executive vice president of practice and leadership integration. It was after this position that she moved to AECF in 2015 to lead the JCYOI. Now she will lead AECF’s Center for Systems Innovation, replacing Teresa Markowitz who has moved on to become CEO of the nonprofit, Case Commons. Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez’s appointment took effect Aug. 1.