My Next Endeavor: Jumpstart

Since last week’s announcement of my departure from Ploughshares Fund I have been touched and inspired by the many good wishes, congratulations, comments and gifts. They confirmed for me the reach and strength of this community, and the importance of Ploughshares Fund. From Sally Lilienthal’s gutsy endeavor some 30 years ago to the influential policy player it has become today, Ploughshares Fund has made a major mark on the security landscape of our nation.

In my next endeavor I am going tackle another issue I believe is critical to building a strong America – early childhood education. Every child deserves the chance to succeed, but studies show that children from low-income neighborhoods are at a greater risk of school failure. I will be taking on the position of President and CEO of Jumpstart, a Boston-based national organization that intervenes early on to reach preschool children in low-income communities and lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning achievement.

Jumpstart envisions a day when every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. It has earned widespread recognition as an effective and efficient social enterprise through its strong curriculum, important adult-student relationship building, and its annual “Read for the Record” campaign (this year on October 6), which combats the crisis in early education by holding the world’s largest shared reading experience. Last year more than 2 million people read Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day – how cool is that?

In Jumpstart’s announcement, Board Chairman Chris Stadler pointed to my experience scaling Ploughshares Fund and said that Jumpstart looks forward “to an exciting period of growth and expanded impact.” I am fortunate to be landing on such a strong foundation – impressive track record, fabulous board and staff, healthy financial base – and am excited about the possibilities for growing this great organization.

I am also looking forward to being in Boston, home of my beloved Red Sox (and Bruins!), close to my parents, and reuniting with college and high school friends who have made this dynamic city their home.

I am enormously thankful for the opportunities I had with Ploughshares Fund – our victories (so many – the CWC, landmines treaty, cooperative threat reduction programs, defeating RNEP and ratifying New START to name a few); and even our defeats (I won’t list those). It has been a privilege to be a small part of the birth, growth and life cycle of so many organizations, and to watch all of us grow in our leadership and sophistication. I have learned so much from my partnership with Joe Cirincione and I can’t wait to see where he leads Ploughshares Fund next.

I’ll be watching, cheering for, and supporting this community as we all work for a stronger future. Stay in touch!



Photo by Sam Kittner