The Partnership for Children and Youth was created in 2002 and Jennifer is the organization’s first Executive Director. During her tenure she has developed and implemented initiatives to build high quality after school and summer learning programs for students in low-income communities across California. Jennifer’s leadership has enabled PCY to be an influential policy-development and advocacy organization that has improved the reach and effectiveness of public funding for youth programs in California and across the country.
In 2006, as California prepared to launch Proposition 49’s substantial new investment in after school programs, Jennifer led the development and advocacy for state legislation that dramatically reformed the initiative and prioritized funding for schools in the lowest-income communities. For this work, she was recognized as “Woman of the Year” in her legislative district.
Jennifer led the creation of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, the state Legislative Task Force on Summer Enrichment, California’s Summer Matters Campaign, and the California Community Schools Network.
In December 2010, Jennifer was appointed Transition Team Director for Tom Torlakson, the newly-elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In this role, Jennifer oversaw the transition planning process and helped ensure that the superintendent’s goals were articulated through policy and organizational development at the California Department of Education. After his re-election in 2014, Superintendent Torlakson appointed Jennifer Senior Advisor, to support development of the superintendent’s second term priorities and she maintains an active advisory role with the Superintendent and his senior team.
Prior to joining PCY, Jennifer spent eight years as an appointee of President Bill Clinton at the U.S. Department of Education, where she supported implementation of numerous initiatives including student loan reform, School-to-Work, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Jennifer has a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Colgate University and she is the mother of Emilia, a rising 7th grader who is enormously patient with her mother’s work schedule.