The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.
CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.
About CDF-New York
Established in 1992, the Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY) office has a unique approach to improving conditions for children, combining research, public education, policy development, community organizing and advocacy. A recognized authority in the endeavor to protect children and strengthen families, CDF-NY serves as a resource and partner for children, families and organizations throughout New York City and State. We leverage our national influence to eliminate the harmful and disproportionate impact that poverty has on children in New York and to eliminate race and gender inequities in the areas of justice, early childhood, education, health and housing.
George Gresham President 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Bronx, NY
Clay Grubb President Grubb Properties, Inc. Charlotte, NC
Ruth-Ann Huvane Child Advocate Los Angeles, CA
Deborah Jewell-Sherman Director Urban Superintendents Program and Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education, MA
Ivanna Omeechevarria Child Advocate Alexandria, VA
Wendy Puriefoy Child Advocate Washington, DC
Martin Rodgers Managing Director Washington, DC Metro Office, Managing Director for Health & Publis Service Southeast, Executive Director of Accenture’s Nonprofit Group Arlington, VA and International Public Sector Practice
Jurnee Smollett-Bell Actress Los Angeles, CA
Bryan Stevenson, Esq. Founder and Executive Director Equal Justice Initiative Montgomery, AL
Former CDF Board Members and Emeriti
Geoffrey Canada, Chair, 2008 - 2014
Henry Hampton (deceased)
Lisle Carter, Jr. (deceased)
Howard Haworth (deceased)
Donna E. Shalala, Chair, 1992 – 1993
Laura Chasin (deceased)
Dorothy Height (deceased)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Esq. Chair 1986 – 1992
David Hornbeck, Chair, 1994 – 2005
J. Michael Solar, Esq.
The Reverend William Howard
Susan Thomases, Esq.
Leonard Coleman, Jr.
James Joseph, Chair, 1993 – 1994
Thomas Troyer, Esq.
Leslie Cornfeld, Esq.
Robert Vagt, Chair, 2005 – 2008
John Deardourff (deceased)
William Lynch, Jr. (deceased)
Pat Fallon (deceased)
James Forbes, Jr.
Charles Merrill, Jr.
James Forman, Jr., Esq.
Abigail Wexner, Esq.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Winifred Green (deceased)
Deborah Wright, Esq.
Join Our Team
Jobs at CDF
Employees of the Children's Defense Fund are dedicated to its mission to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The work is meaningful, the people are great and your contributions will continue to help us to achieve our mission.
Our interns gain knowledge, skills and experience in the most critical public policy issues facing children and develop a unique insider's view of non-profit advocacy, all while helping to make a difference in the lives of children and youth.