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Public Policy: Fighting to Get Us A Seat At The Government Table


Dr. Stephanie McGencey is a staunch advocate for children, youth, families, and communities.

She has over 24 years of experience leading transformative programs and organizations that serve youth, women, and other underserved populations. She founded the Women’s Equity Center and Action Network (WE CAN) to help amplify the role women and girls of color have in transforming their communities. She recognizes that sustainable and effective social change efforts must engage them as authentic partners to craft solutions to meet their identified needs. Her career choices all reflect a deep passion and commitment to making a difference to the overall health and well-being of women, children, youth, families and communities.

Prior to WE CAN, Dr. McGencey spent almost 15 years working in the philanthropic sector to help inform investments in transformative initiatives for vulnerable populations. As Senior Director, Private Philanthropy at the Council on Foundations she led the organization’s management excellence learning agenda for family, operating and independent foundations. Prior to joining the Council, she provided executive leadership at Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families (GCYF). Here she led the organization’s efforts to engage foundations in public policy and advocacy on a host of children, youth and family issues. She also forged key alliances between philanthropic leaders, elected officials, national organization partners, and researchers to address member needs.

Prior to her work in the philanthropic sector, she served in leadership positions at two national associations. As the Deputy Director, Training and Technical Assistance, National Community Anti-Drug Coalition Institute, for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) she was responsible for all of CADCA’s training, technical assistance, and research initiatives, including, but not limited to, developing curricula, publications, and other resources to assist community coalitions; convening training sessions across the country; establishing strategic partnerships with other training entities to serve community coalitions; and offering satellite broadcasts and computer-based training and technical assistance services.

Prior to joining CADCA, Dr. McGencey was the Director of Prevention Services for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD). This experience enabled her to develop a keen understanding of State systems which has shaped her views on how State agencies can support community leadership. Stephanie has additional experience leading national technical assistance delivery systems and serving as a master trainer/facilitator. Dr. McGencey currently serves on the Board of the Child Welfare League of America and volunteers with other non-profits in the Washington, DC Metro area.

Dr. McGencey holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from San Francisco State University, a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior/Health Education from the University of Michigan, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services from Walden University.

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