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Voices Speaking

July 18, 2019

New Staff Join the Connecticut Voices Team!

In addition to our recently announced new Executive Director, Emily Byrne, Connecticut Voices for Children is pleased to welcome more new faces to our team. Tami Christopher will lead our education work, and Susana Barragan and Ryan Wilson are the newest participants in our two-year policy fellowship program, which offers full-time positions to exceptional recent college graduates with a strong interest in advancing public policy to benefit children and youth.

Tami Christopher has a dual role at Connecticut Voices for Children as Education Policy & Research Fellow and Associate Policy & Research Fellows (APRF) Program Director. In this capacity, she also serves as the Director for the Connecticut College and Career Readiness Alliance.

Her research and practice spans the K-20 educational space. After beginning in museum educational programming, she transitioned her career to higher education and held leadership roles at the University of Bridgeport, Post University, and Middlesex Community College. Her doctoral residency with Our Piece of the Pie in Hartford focused on strategic planning, college and career readiness, and leadership development. She has consulted for The Education Redesign Lab at Harvard, Jobs for the Future, COACHE, PDK International, and several school districts. She has also taught K-12, undergraduate, and graduate level students.

Tami earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and also holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Southern Maine and an MS in Education from the University of Bridgeport. She received a BA in English from Central Connecticut State University.

Susana Barragan is an Associate Policy & Research Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children. Her issue areas of focus at Voices include fiscal policy and economic security. Her interests include international and local economic development, as well as public policy.

Susana is an Honors scholar graduate from the University of Connecticut, where she earned her B.A. in both Economics and Human Rights. As an undergraduate, she worked in Washington D.C., where she advocated for an economic advancement bill for the Latinx community. She was also an intern for the equitable development team at the Ford Foundation in New York City.

Ryan Wilson is an Associate Policy & Research Fellow for Advocacy at Connecticut Voices for Children. His issue areas of focus include advocacy and equity.  His interests include education and child welfare.

He joins Connecticut Voices after spending two years in Changsha, China working with high school students as a Yale-China Teaching Fellow. Ryan graduated from Yale University in 2017 with a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Ryan strives to advocate for racial equity and justice in the systems that affect the development of Connecticut’s youth.

 

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Early Care, Education, Family Economic Security
July 8, 2019

Connecticut Voices Hires Emily Byrne as Executive Director

Emily ByrneFollowing an extensive search, Connecticut Voices for Children is pleased to announce that we have chosen a new Executive Director with wide-ranging experience and a record of leadership in government and nonprofit organizations. Emily Byrne has begun her work as leader of the organization this week.

“Emily brings a wealth of management experience and a lifelong commitment to improving opportunities for Connecticut’s children and families. With Emily at the helm, I am confident that Connecticut Voices will continue to build on its successes and its reputation for effective, research-based advocacy,” said David Nee, Chairperson of Connecticut Voices’ Board of Directors.

Byrne, a long-time Connecticut resident, has extensive experience in developing education, housing, economic development and anti-poverty policies and programs. She has organized and led advocacy campaigns on local, state and federal legislation affecting children and families. A public servant by training, she started her career as a policy analyst for the City of New Haven, where she helped design the nation’s first municipal identification card for all residents, regardless of their immigration status. Since then she has held various governmental leadership positions at the state and local levels, including roles as Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Connecticut State Department of Education and Director of Strategy and Innovation at the New Haven Housing Authority. Most notably, she was the founding Executive Director of New Haven Promise.

“Connecticut Voices for Children has been a provenance of progressive policies, rooted in research, that support the state’s most vulnerable children and families for nearly twenty-five years. Together—with communities and partners—we endeavor to build upon past efforts in service of equitable, inclusive change and justice,” said Byrne. “I am honored and humbled to lead the organization into the next quarter century of its work so that all children in Connecticut have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Child Welfare, Early Care, Education, Family Economic Security, Health, Juvenile Justice

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