Foundation Welcomes Twelfth Class of Children and Family Fellows
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has selected 15 leaders for the twelfth class of its Children and Family Fellowship®. These women and men — accomplished leaders from the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors — will use the 21-month Fellowship to work within their agencies, organizations and communities toward specific, measurable improvements for large numbers of young people and families. The new Fellows are based in 12 states.
Now in its third decade, the Fellowship is an intensive executive leadership program designed to give more child- and family-serving professionals the confidence and competence to lead major system reforms and community change initiatives. The six women and nine men chosen for the 2022–2024 class work in disciplines from education to juvenile justice, child welfare and housing.
In addition to specific individual objectives, this group of Fellows will contribute to a shared result. That common end is that all youth ages 16 to 24 have the necessary connections to school, work and family to have bright futures.
“We are excited to welcome this new class of talented leaders committed to creating equitable opportunities for all kids and families to succeed and thrive,” says Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. “They are eager to apply the Fellowship’s tools and resources to become even more effective and make a greater difference.”
“Transformational change happens through visionary leaders who are exceptional at implementation,” says Leslie Boissiere, vice president for external affairs at the Foundation, who oversees the Fellowship as part of a portfolio of results-based leadership development initiatives. “Through the Fellowship, Casey builds the capacity of leaders in organizations across the country to drive equitable results, and this investment in leaders is critically important to achieving equitable access to opportunity for all kids and families.”
Since the Foundation began the program in 1993, 140 leaders have participated in the Children and Family Fellowship. Fellows stay connected through the Casey Fellows Alumni Network, which is designed to support relationships among the Fellows and to contribute significantly to sustained movements to improve outcomes for children, families and communities.
Alumni include Doug Ammar, executive director of the Georgia Justice Project; Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation; Ryan Chao, president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Soraya M. Coley, president of Cal Poly Pomona; Gloria O’Neill, president and CEO of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council; Esther Shin, president of Urban Strategies, Inc.; Susan Thomas, president of the Melville Charitable Trust; Tony Thurmond, superintendent of public instruction for the State of California; and Anne Williams-Isom, deputy mayor for health and human services for the City of New York.
The first executive seminar for the new class of Fellows begins in April.
Members of the Twelfth Class of Fellows
Business Development Manager
Punita Dani Thurman
Vice President, Program and Strategy
Chief of Clinical Innovation
Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth
Wilmington, North Carolina
New Mexico Public Education Department
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Superintendent of Schools
The School District of University City
University City, Missouri
Connecticut Department of Children and Families
Associate Director, Family and Youth Systems Transformation
Corporation for Supportive Housing
San Diego, California
President and CEO
Fresh Lifelines for Youth
President and CEO
Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
Assistant Deputy Director, Corrections
St. Paul, Minnesota
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Kansas City, Missouri
Pierce County Juvenile Court
An evaluation of the Fellowship found that it helped social-sector executives transform the way their organizations worked on behalf of children in low-income communities.
Three Fellows in Minnesota are collaborating to strengthen family financial stability.
A Fellow is helping Appalachian students succeed by boosting kindergarten readiness in rural communities.