Board Members


John Brandon

MCCOY Inc., President, [email protected]


MCCOY’s President has over 30 years experience in the youth development field as a youth worker, counselor, caseworker, trainer, and agency executive. He holds a B.A. in History, a MDiv. in Theology, and a M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy. Brandon has guided numerous community planning projects and initiatives in the youth development arena during his career and serves on a variety of community boards and committees. He is a certified trainer in the Advancing Youth Development curriculum; a certified assessor for the Youth Program Quality Assessment/Improvement process; a trained facilitator for the Sustainability Planning Process, and an adjunct professor for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. At MCCOY, John is responsible for overall agency management, staff development, strategic planning, partnership and relationship building, and fund development. An avid bicyclist and a voracious reader, Brandon is happily married and the father of one adult daughter.

Kelly Causey, PhD

Colorado Children’s Campaign, President and CEO, [email protected]


Kelly has more than two decades of experience leading large Colorado non-profit organizations. She has devoted more than 25 years working with children and youth, from one of her first jobs in residential treatment to more than two decades engaged with youth conservation corps. Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver, where she has also served as a sociology instructor. She has several publications related to child custody and stigma. She has served on the Corps Network National Board of Directors, the Colorado Workforce Development Council, and the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships Commission. She currently serves on the board of EPIC. In her free time you’d likely spot her at a CU sporting event or catching a performance at the DCPA.

David Lujan, JD (Treasurer)

Children’s Action Alliance (AZ), President & CEO, [email protected]


David, a former member of the state Senate and House of Representatives, has worked in public policy in Arizona for 20 years. He served as an assistant attorney general advising the School Facilities Board, legal counsel for the Arizona senate, a staff attorney providing legal services to abused and neglected children, and, most recently, as a public policy director for Reading Partners, an organization that provides services to young children struggling in school. David also served as chief administrator for Arizona State University’s Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, a public charter school for preschool through 12th grade students. David earned his law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

Emily Byrne, M.P.A

Connecticut Voices for Children, Executive Director, [email protected]


Emily Byrne, M.P.A., is the Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children.

She has extensive experience in developing human-centered policies and programs as well as driving effective advocacy strategies in service of progressive change. Byrne has led and contributed to work that has been recognized by past White House administrations and has appeared in numerous publications. Most notably, she was the founding Executive Director of New Haven Promise, a nonprofit at the intersection of education and economic development.

Emily earned an M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College. A public servant by training, she started her career as a policy analyst for the City of New Haven, CT where she helped design the nation’s first municipal identification card for residents irrespective of immigration status. Since then she has held various governmental leadership positions as a systems intrapreneur within the social and economic justice arenas.

She is also a past U.S. Visiting Fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany. Her research focused on migrant rights and racial justice vis-à-vis democratic participation and education.

Robert C. Fellmeth

Children’s Advocacy Institute (CA), Executive Director, [email protected]


Professor Robert C. Fellmeth is a tenured law professor at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law and is Founder and Executive Director of USD’s Center for Public Interest Law and its Children’s Advocacy Institute. He is the holder of the Price Chair in Public Interest Law at the USD School of Law, one of two such chairs in the nation. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Fellmeth was one of the original “Nader’s Raiders,” organizing the student groups in 1968 as part of the early consumer movement, and directing the Nader Congress Project in 1970-72. As a deputy district attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego from 1973-81, he litigated 22 antitrust actions and founded the nation’s first antitrust unit in a district attorney’s office. He currently serves on the board of directors of Public Citizen Foundation (Chair from 1994 to 2014), the National Association of Counsel for Children (President of Board from 2010-12), First Star Foundation, and the Maternal and Child Health Access Foundation. In the past he served on the board of directors of Consumers Union and California Common Cause and served as counsel for Voices for America’s Children.  He has taught at the National Judicial College, the National College of District Attorneys, and the California Judicial College. He has litigated 40 published appellate cases, drafted/sponsored 65 state and federal statutes, authored or co-authored 14 books or treatises, including The Nader Report on the FTC (Baron, 1968), The Politics of Land (Grossman, 1970), California White Collar Crime (with Papageorge) (Tower Publishing, 4th edition 2013), and the law school text Child Rights and Remedies (Clarity Press, 3rd edition, 2011).


Allison Lake

Westchester Children’s Association (NY), Executive Director, [email protected]


Allison became Westchester Children’s Association (WCA) Executive Director in July 2018. She joined WCA in 1998 as the Program Coordinator for the Children’s Health Initiative. In 2008, she was promoted to Deputy Director, responsible for WCA’s programmatic initiatives, leading WCA’s advocacy partnerships and community mobilization efforts. Allison received her BA from Amherst College and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She brings over 25 years of experience in non-profit and community work both in the US and West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After working in banking for three years, she returned to her passion of community development. She has held management positions at the National Civic League and Associated Black Charities. Ms. Lake has worked in youth development with the City Volunteer Corps program in New York City and the YWCA of White Plains & Central Westchester. Allison is a homegrown Westchesterite, lives in Greenburgh with her husband and has two young adult children.


Dr. Stephan Blanford

Children’s Alliance (WA), Executive Director, [email protected]


Dr. Stephan Blanford has dedicated much of his career to advocacy and policymaking for children and families. He has led youth development agencies and educational institutions serving kids from birth to college entrance in Washington state, and was honored to receive the Leadership for Equity award at the culmination of his term as an elected school board director for Seattle Public Schools in 2017.

Kimberly Perry, Co-Chair

DC Action for Children, Executive Director, [email protected]


A former teacher turned lobbyist, Kimberly has spent her career dedicated to building powerful organizations to amplify citizen’s voices. Her work has driven critical policy change to improve the lives of nearly 30 million children and families across the globe. As DC Action’s executive director, she has set a vision to achieve race equity in child policy; and is ramping up the organization’s resources, human capital, and networks to break down structural barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.

Kimberly brings more than 20 years of experience as an advocate for children and families and has a proven record of success in nonprofit management, policy advocacy, and civic engagement. She is most well known as Founding Director of DC Hunger Solutions, Vice President of the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Executive Director of DC Vote, as well as other advisory roles in political campaigns, public policy advocacy and philanthropy.

Kimberly serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hunger Center, the DC Community Housing Trust, and is Chair of Highest Ground.

When she’s not working you can find her at home perfecting recipes, watching and producing documentaries, salsa dancing, or on a hiking trail.


Jenifer Wagley, Co-Chair

Our Children Oregon, Executive Director, [email protected]


Jenifer serves as Executive Director of Our Children Oregon, bringing 15 years of experience in community development/affordable housing, grass-roots power building, and organizational leadership. Previously she served as the Deputy Director of Avenue Community Development Corporation in Houston, TX. During her tenure, she developed a nationally recognized model for place-based, community-led transformation. In 2017, she and partners received the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity & Social Change. Subsequently, Avenue was selected for the National BUILD Health Challenge. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Rubinger Fellowship by the Local Initiative Support Corporation, which led her to Oregon and to the board of the Partnership for America’s Children.

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