Jennifer Peck | Executive Director | Jennifer's Bio
Jennifer Peck | Executive Director
Jennifer Peck was a founding staff member of the Partnership in 2001 and became its executive director in 2003. Since that time, she has developed and implemented initiatives to finance and build after-school and summer-learning programs, and increase access to school meals and nutrition education programs in the Bay Area’s lowest-income communities. Under her leadership, the Partnership has brought more than $70 million in public funding to schools and their community partners, enabling thousands of low-income children to participate in these programs.
Jennifer has built the Partnership into an influential policy-development and advocacy organization that has improved the effectiveness of public funding for youth programs in low-income communities across California.
In December 2010, Jennifer was appointed Transition Team Director and Policy Advisor 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. Jennifer continues to serve as an advisor to the Superintendent on Expanded Learning and Community School issues.
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, then-State Senator Tom Torlakson named Jennifer “Woman of the Year” in 2008.
Jennifer created the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, the state Legislative Task Force on Summer Enrichment, and she leads a coalition of California organizations advocating for new federal policies to improve the effectiveness of after-school and summer-learning programs.
Prior to joining the Partnership, 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.
Jennifer serves on the boards of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund and the Californian’s Dedicated to Education Foundation which supports high priority initiatives of the California Department of Education. She is married to John Gioia, and they are parents to Christopher, 20, and Emilia, 8.
Mary Creasman | Associate Director
Mary Creasman joined the Partnership for Children and Youth in 2012 as the Associate Director overseeing communications, development and operations. Before joining the Partnership she served as Chief Strategy Officer for the national non-profit Green For All, directing their federal policy, communications, and education and outreach departments. Prior to Green For All, Mary was the Political and Organizing Director for the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and Working Partnerships USA, a nationally recognized public policy organization.
Mary has led numerous winning public policy and organizing campaigns in Silicon Valley including a living wage expansion, large-scale retail and community benefits policies. She also served as the Political Director for the Democratic Party in Silicon Valley and managed many successful local and regional electoral and ballot initiative campaigns, including City Council races, Board of Supervisor races, county tax and bond initiatives, and the local presidential and congressional campaigns. Mary graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Sociology.
Andrea Broxton | Director, Technical Assistance, Out of School Time Initiatives
Andrea Broxton joins Partnership for Children and Youth in 2012, taking on the newly-created role of technical assistance (TA) director. Prior to joining the Partnership, Andrea worked with Girls, Incorporated of Alameda County. She has a wide range of experience as a program provider, program manager, trainer, facilitator, assessor and researcher. Andrea's areas of expertise include youth development, family supports, expanded learning and community-school initiatives. Andrea will oversee the Partnership’s out-of-school-time technical-assistance projects and provide direct support to our new Summer Science communities in Oakland and Concord. We are very excited to have Andrea's experience and skill on the Partnership team.
Deanna Niebuhr | Senior Director, Community Schools Initiative
Deanna Niebuhr joined the Partnership in 2004 and directs the Community Schools Initiative. In this role, Deanna leads the Partnership’s efforts to create a state-level policy framework supportive of the development and sustainability of community school implementation at the local level. Among Deanna’s areas of focus is the building of a state-wide network of community school advocates and stakeholders. Deanna also oversees the Partnership’s targeted technical-assistance work with local communities to initiate and grow community school partnerships.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Deanna worked for seven years with adolescent girls in a group home and non-public school setting. Later, as an analyst for Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, she worked on child welfare policy issues at the county and state levels. Deanna has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley.
Esther Kim | Communications Manager
Esther Kim joined the Partnership for Children and Youth in 2012 and manages the development and implementation of the Partnership’s communications strategy. Before joining the Partnership, she worked in the private sector in both the wireless technology and finance industries. Working at Financial Engines, Esther executed marketing campaigns for some of the company’s largest Fortune 100 clients. She also led customer insight projects with a special focus on issues around aging and the Baby Boomer population.
Prior to Financial Engines, Esther worked in Qualcomm’s Government Affairs on a strategic initiative showing how wireless technology can improve lives through education, entrepreneurship and health care. She led the initiative’s communications efforts which led to the publication of several of her written pieces. She is an accomplished storyteller with experience in both corporate and non-profit settings. Esther graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Psychology.
Jennifer Dietrich | Office Coordinator
Jennifer Dietrich joined the Partnership for Children and Youth in 2012 as Office Coordinator, and comes with almost five years of legislative experience at the state and federal levels. In Sacramento, Jen staffed two Chairs of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, while supporting communications and media relations. Prior to working at the California State Capitol, she served two Bay Area Congressmembers, Ret. Representative Ellen O. Tauscher and Representative Jerry McNerney, in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
While working for Congress, Jen earned her Masters degree in Political Management from George Washington University. She focused on issue advocacy, speech writing, and grassroots organization.
Jennifer Hicks | Technical Assistance Manager, Out of School Time Initiatives
Jennifer Hicks joined the Partnership in 2011 in the newly-created role of technical assistance (TA) manager for our out-of-school-time initiatives. Jen has worked in the out-of-school-time spectrum for more than 11 years, and is skilled at developing and delivering engaging professional development and instructional coaching to youth workers.
In 2000, Jennifer began as peer counselor for the Healthy Start program at James Logan High School. She later transitioned to intern for Youth Employment Partnership Inc., in Oakland, where she mentored and supported over 200 youth in job readiness and placement for the 2005 Mayor Summer Job Program.
In 2005 Jennifer began working for YMCA of the East Bay, providing service in several capacities over five years. As site director of the Explore Middle School after school program she earned a 2007 Service of Excellence award from Oakland Unified School District. In 2009, Jen was promoted to fiscal management director with the lens of after school program strategy and compliance.
During the 2008–09 school year Jennifer worked with OUSD’s complementary learning department as a consultant in the after school program office.
Jessica Gunderson | Senior Policy Associate
Jessica Gunderson joined the Partnership in 2011 to help shape and manage our after-school, summer, and community-school advocacy and policy work. Before joining the Partnership, Jessica worked as a senior planner at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. While at Vera, she led research and planning efforts to address educational neglect and chronic absenteeism among teenagers resulting in two publications, Getting Teenagers to School and Rethinking Educational Neglect.
Jessica received her Master of Public Administration and Non-profit Management degree at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU. While at Wagner, Jessica worked as a research intern at Casey Family Programs and a program coordinator at the NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action. Prior to graduate school, she worked for California State Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass on child-welfare and social-service issues including staffing the California State Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care.
Katie Brackenridge | Senior Director, Out of School Time Initiatives
Katie Brackenridge joined the Partnership in 2004 and directs the Out of School Time initiatives. She has helped hundreds of school and community-based after school programs develop sustainability plans, plan and submit 21st CCLC and Prop 49/ASES grants, access additional funding sources and improve their program practices for after school and summer programming.
Katie also supports the Partnership’s work to develop and improve policies that make out-of-school-time programming more accessible and effective. She serves as Co-Chair of the Quality Committee of the California Afterschool Network, working to advise and inform the Network, the California Department of Education and other stakeholders about systems and strategies to support quality programming across the state.
Katie has been teaching, managing and providing technical assistance to youth programs since 1990. Most recently, she spent nine years directing a community-based organization, the Jamestown Community Center, which provides comprehensive out-of-school-time services to young people in the Mission District of San Francisco. Katie has a Bachelor's degree in history from Williams College and a master's degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Nazaneen Khalilnaji-Otto | Summer Matters Campaign Manager
Nazaneen joins the Partnership for Children and Youth as our Summer Matters Campaign Manager, supporting our campaign partnerships, events, outreach and communications. Nazaneen has worked in the education field for over 15 years; she has taught preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school in the areas of Spanish, Social Studies, and English as a second language.
Prior to joining our team, Nazaneen worked with Citizen Schools, a national network of expanded learning time programs for middle school youth. In this capacity, she served as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow, a site director, and a program director. During her time with Citizen Schools, Nazaneen honed her skills in curriculum development, program management, training youth workers and volunteers, and facilitating collaborations among families, school administrators and corporate partners.
Before moving to California to join Citizen Schools, Nazaneen taught high school social studies in West Philadelphia and earned her Teaching Credential and Masters of Science in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Nazaneen also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics from The Evergreen State College.
Robin Ferguson | Director, Finance and Administration
Robin Ferguson joined Partnership for Children and Youth in 2007, and is responsible for the fiscal and administrative areas of the organization. Prior to joining the Partnership, she worked in a broad range of nonprofit organizations in New York City for more than 25 years, including a community foundation, a health education theater program for young people and an organization that provides quality health care in underserved communities.
Robin has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit management. Her skills include financial management, budget development, grants management and office administration.