Redlich Horwitz Foundation, a major financial supporter of programs to strengthen New York’s foster care system for the benefit of children in care and for those aging out, has hired a new program director.
Jessica Maxwell will return home to her native New York City when she starts her new job next month.
She is currently the deputy director of Compassionate Education Systems California for the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland. She has spearheaded initiatives aimed at creating equitable educational opportunities for students experiencing homelessness, foster care and the juvenile justice system.
As program director at Redlich Horwitz, Maxwell’s return to New York will give her a chance to build on her achievements as a longtime advocate, collaborator and strategist. Specifically, she’ll be tasked with assisting in seeking out new opportunities and strategies to effect system-wide change in New York state, as well as steering grants, implementing and monitoring programs, maintaining and building relationships with grantees and stakeholders and helping grantees and service providers be as effective as they can be.
She’ll be deeply involved in one of Redlich Horwitz’s top priorities: building a more racially just child welfare system. Maxwell’s long experience in this area was one of the key reasons she was hired to replace Rashida Abuwala, who has moved into a consulting capacity with the foundation.
Before moving to the West Coast, Maxwell was at Children’s Aid in New York City. At Children’s Aid, she founded and led the Fostering Youth Success Alliance, a statewide coalition focusing on budget, policy and legislation reform. Under Maxwell’s leadership, the alliance successfully pushed through legislation establishing the $15 million Foster Youth College Success Initiative.