A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a goal to prepare youth for success in college, work and life before age 21 will have a deeply experienced new leader come September — Mishaela Durán.
Durán will become president and chief executive of the Forum for Youth Investment, a national organization that, records show, brought in nearly $12 million in 2019. As a Latina with lived experience in the child welfare system, Durán should have a good feel for the lives of the more than 400,000 children who are currently in the system.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Forum for Youth Investment as the next CEO, building off of Karen Pittman’s incredible legacy and advancing a racial equity agenda to unleash the full potential of children and youth so they are ready for college, work, and life,” Durán said in a press release. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine youth-serving systems through a racial equity lens.”
Durán, who will replace Karen Pittman, is currently a senior executive at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. Pittman, who is stepping back to a position as a senior fellow, co-founded FYI in 1998 with Merita Irby.
At ACF, Durán directs the Office of Regional Operations, where she oversees the 10 federal districts’ efforts to serve children and families with services such as early adoption and child welfare. She is the principal adviser to the assistant secretary for regional-state relations management.
Durán served on the management team that began a well-known overhaul of the District of Columbia’s juvenile justice system.
Previously, she also served as executive director of the National Parent Teacher Association, among other posts. Durán graduated from Yale University and earned a master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.