Challenge: Community-based refugee service organizations across California identify clients’ high rates of parenting and marital tensions

Approach: I led planning and proposal development resulting in multi-year grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families for the Refugee Healthy Marriage Initiative, involving five community-based, refugee-serving agencies in Southern and Northern California. I managed the program during its critical start-up year, engaging partner organizations and designing procedures and protocols for effective service delivery; identified effective practices in workshop training curriculum and ways these could be adapted to ensure cultural sensitivity; and delivered capacity-building technical assistance and training to direct service and training staff.

Results:  Training and support to five grassroots community-based organizations whose culturally-informed services benefited families over a 7-year period

Challenge: Affordable housing for low-income families in Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood

Approach: I established a San Antonio Real Estate Council of local non-profit affordable housing developers and public agency representatives to gain an understanding of barriers to affordable housing development in the neighborhood;  oversaw the work of the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute for Urban and Regional Development to develop a survey of vacant and underdeveloped properties that could be developed; solicited feedback and buy-in from non-profit developers; and encouraged investment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and local foundations in a fund to cover pre-development expenses related to the production of new housing units.

Results: Creation of a $10 million fund for affordable housing development that has supported the production of nearly 400 units of affordable housing and been recognized as one of the most successful in the country

Challenge: A three-year strategic plan for a non-profit organization poised to improve quality and client outcomes

Approach: I led Jewish Vocational Service’s 10-month strategic planning process from initial design to final documents.  I convened and supported a strategic planning committee comprised of key staff and board members and external stakeholders; engaged executive, management and program staff in the iterative development of priorities and strategies; conducted focus groups and key stakeholder interviews, best practice literature review, environmental scans, analysis of performance outcomes and fiscal data, and synthesis of key ideas; and facilitated decision-making to finalize a plan that could be embraced and implemented.

Results: A three-year strategic plan document (powerpoint format); executive summary (narrative); and three-year and year-one “strategy maps” of intended impact and strategic initiatives

Challenge: Early childhood education options for children of limited-English-speaking families in Oakland

Approach: I wrote a successful proposal for competitive grant funding from the California Department of Education that launched and sustained an Even Start Family Literacy program.  At program start-up, I researched and documented local and national best practices to inform its design.  Years later, I recommended to the Annie E. Casey Foundation the granting of seed funds to grow community-based parent-child playgroups, and fostered critical co-funding relationships with the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) and the Oakland Department of Parks and Recreation.

Results: OFCY and Casey Foundation co-investment that sustained playgroups at a newly-seeded non-profit organization and at Parks and Recreation sites citywide, serving 300 children annually

Challenge:  Adoption of a Salesforce database equipped a non-profit service provider with immense amounts of client data to use for learning and communications

Approach: I developed a scorecard and dashboard, aligned with the agency’s Theory of Change and showing key indicators tracked toward annual goals: established a quarterly practice of data compilation and analysis; and engaged management staff in data-driven discussion, reflection and action planning.  I presented on the value of this approach at convenings of service providers and funders.

Results: A sustained system of performance outcomes management and reflection for continuous improvement

Challenge: An outreach, education and enrollment assistance campaign for a new statewide public benefit program

Approach: I conducted research on past and current campaigns of similar scope and purpose nationwide.  I developed policy memos recommending program design features that informed the decisions of a statewide board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature.  I drafted detailed workplans and procedures that shaped the roll-out of this statewide campaign.

Results: Covered California’s in-person assistance campaign launched in October 2013 to enroll millions of Californians in affordable health coverage.