Jennifer comes to OWN with nearly twenty years’ experience in non-profit management and development. Born in Seattle, Jennifer was inspired to become an advocate for social change after her first study abroad experience to Romania in the early 1990s. She went on to become an avid activist for rights and equality of Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe, managing a wide range of international initiatives. She designed and managed programming for youth leadership and community development and facilitated collaborative work among organizations from over eight European countries. With a strong interest in policy analysis and advocacy, Jennifer has published widely on the Roma minority in Europe.
After many years working with grassroots organizations, Jennifer later joined the Open Society Foundations in Budapest. As part of a senior leadership team, Jennifer coached and supervised program managers on youth leadership, community organizing and organizational development. Her longstanding experience with non-profits, minority communities and social justice work also led her to serve as expert evaluator and strategist both for Open Society Foundations and other international donors over recent years.
Jennifer completed an undergraduate degree in history at California State University, Chico, and later went on to pursue an M.A. in Politics of Alternative Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She speaks Romanian and Hungarian languages fluently, and basic Roma (Gypsy) language. She brings her love of language learning, travel and international education to the organization. As OWN’s Director of Programs from 2007 to 2009, Jennifer oversaw all core programming and staff of the organization. She is passionate about OWN’s mission and thrilled to return and lead its work developing the next generation of global leaders.