Former Harlem Children’s Zone CEO will chair; JCCA CEO and Children’s Equity Project founder join

March 16, 2021

Child Trends is pleased to announce the election of Anne Williams-Isom as chair of our Board of Directors, as well as the election of two new board members, Ronald E. Richter and Shantel Meek.

Williams-Isom stepped down as CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone in early 2020 and now holds the Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies at Fordham University. She succeeds Fred Bollerer as Child Trends Board chair.

“At this pivotal moment in the nation’s history, Child Trends is well-positioned to address the poverty and racial inequities that harm so many children and youth,” said Williams-Isom. “I am excited to work with my fellow Board members to ensure that Child Trends brings its deep expertise in data and evidence to the important work of building better and more equitable outcomes for all our children and youth.”

In Richter’s capacity at JCCA and in his other ventures, he has championed the creation of a more just child welfare system by placing the utmost value on the well-being of each child and family. As JCCA’s CEO, Richter has expanded the organization’s academic enrichment services and has helped the organization become a premier provider of in-home and community-based support services for children with complex trauma, chronic illness, or severe emotional disturbance. He previously served as a judge in New York City’s Family Court and led the city’s Administration for Children’s Services under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Meek brings to the board significant experience managing and executing strategic initiatives to promote equity in U.S. learning systems, from the early childhood years to the early grades in school. As the founding director of the Children’s Equity Project, housed at Arizona State University, Meek manages the project’s strategic vision and its partnerships with 17 universities, national nonprofit organizations, and state and federal policymakers. Meek formerly served as a consultant in early childhood research, policy, and strategy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and served as a senior policy advisor to the Obama Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services and at the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.

“We are proud and honored to have Anne as our new Board chair and to welcome Ron and Shantel to the Board,” said Carol Emig, president of Child Trends. “Each has been a leader in building better systems of care and support for children and youth, and each has a deep commitment to advancing equity. Child Trends will benefit from their experience, wisdom, and passion in the years to come.”