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Ann O’Leary Appointed Director of Children and Families Program

O’Leary brings wealth of experience from White House, Capitol Hill and academia on economic policy and children and families issues.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA —The Center for the Next Generation today announced the appointment of Ann O’Leary as Director of The Center’s Children and Families Program.  O’Leary has over a decade of experience working in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and she most recently served as Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Health, Economic & Family Security at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

O’Leary will oversee The Center for the Next Generation’s national media campaign on the state of America’s kids and families.  Now in development, the campaign will launch later this year with a national advertising campaign, town-hall meetings, social media campaigns, research and other public events aimed at building support for proven private and public investments in programs and policies that benefit kids and families.

“Ann provides The Center with the perfect mix of legislative and policy experience to help us achieve our goal of increasing support for America’s children and families,” said The Center for the Next Generation President Matt James.  “Ann is widely respected as one of the nation’s top experts on kids and families, and her deep understanding of these issues will help The Center for the Next Generation enormously as it works to focus the nation on the needs of children and families.”

“At a time when our economy is wreaking havoc on America’s families and children, Jim and Tom Steyer, through the creation of The Center, have committed to waking up the public and our political leaders to the devastating consequences that will result if we do not all come together—businesses, community and faith leaders, families themselves and our government—to ensure that our children have the tools they need to thrive now and into the future,” said Ann O’Leary.  “I’m delighted to be joining The Center for the Next Generation under Matt James’ proven leadership.”

At UC Berkeley, O’Leary conducted research, public education and technical support for policy makers in the areas of health, income and job security.  In addition, O’Leary serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.  Through CAP, O’Leary has authored policy reports and advised policymakers in Washington, DC on the need to update our country’s workplace policies and social insurance system to reflect changing family and workplace demographics. 

Prior to her positions at Berkeley and with CAP, O’Leary served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, a law clerk for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, a Special Assistant to the President in the White House Domestic Policy Council as head of the Children and Family Policy Team and as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education.

She is co-editor with Jacob Hacker of a forthcoming book, Shared Responsibility, Shared Risk: Government, Markets, and U.S. Social Policy in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming Oxford University Press, 2012).

O’Leary currently serves as a board member for the East Bay Community Law Center, a local clinic that provides legal services to low-income residents in the East Bay of Northern California, and she just completed six years of service on the board of Public Advocates, a public interest law firm that works to challenge and overcome poverty and discrimination.

O’Leary received her B.A in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College, M.A. in Administration, Policy Analysis and Evaluation from Stanford University’s School of Education and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
She begins her new role today, October 3rd.

For more information about The Center for the Next Generation, visit

About The Center for the Next Generation 

The Center for the Next Generation is a nonpartisan strategic communications nonprofit organization that supports programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans. Driven by high-quality research and data, the Center uses targeted communications to drive the development of an advanced energy economy and to build support for ensuring that America’s young people grow up healthy, are properly educated and well-prepared for the workforce. The Center believes that these are the keys to a stronger, more prosperous America.

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