Government and philanthropy often share common goals and a capacity to enable wide-scale systems change. When they work together, they make ideal partners—philanthropy contributing nimbleness and a spirit of experimentation, while government commands the resources to sustain what works. In Los Angeles County, such collaboration was catalyzed by the murder of an 8-year-old boy in 2013. This tragic death prompted the Board of Supervisors to empanel a commission of notable child welfare experts to examine systemic failures.
Since then, an increasingly durable and agile spirit of collaboration in L.A. has fueled an ability to test new ideas, assess their effectiveness, and bring them to scale in ways that significantly impact child welfare reform. As a result of these efforts, the previously siloed and reactive child protection system is moving toward becoming a more integrated countywide child well-being system. Cultivating Hope Through Action: How Public-Private Partnerships Are Strengthening Child and Family Well-Being in L.A. County, is a report chronicling the work that drove increased collaboration and funding in L.A. County. It also addresses ways to grow similar collaborative ecosystems for child and family well-being in the future. Read the executive summary and full report below.
Wendy has played an integral role in the life of the Parsons Foundation, becoming President and CEO in 2008 after working for the Foundation for more than twenty years.
Wendy is currently Chair of the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families, serves on the advisory board of the Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC, is Vice Chair of LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, and serves on the LA Coalition for the Economy & Jobs. She is a founding member of the Non-Profit Sustainability Initiative, the Los Angeles County Center for Strategic Partnerships, and the Los Angeles County Arts Recovery Fund.
Wendy formerly served as Chair of Southern California Grantmakers, helping transform the organization into an engine of collaboration and transformation increasing membership from 100 to more than 300. She was also on the board of the Broad Stage, First 5 Los Angeles, and The Trusteeship, the local affiliate of the International Women’s Forum. As a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School, she traveled with delegations to Egypt and South Africa.
Prior to joining the Parsons Foundation, Wendy was Executive Director of the Los Angeles Child Care and Development Council, Program Manager at Children’s Home Society of Orange County, and founding staff member of the children’s nonprofit Crystal Stairs.
Wendy is a sought-after speaker and panelist at local, national and international meetings. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has a master’s in urban planning from UCLA.