Jen is The Meadows Institute’s Vice President of Education Policy and Regional Development and is based in Austin. In this new role, Jen will support developing and implementing a statewide strategy for student mental health policy across the education continuum. She will also work with members of the development team and be responsible for supporting the Institute’s fundraising efforts, particularly in the Central Texas region.
Jen has spent the last twenty years working in nonprofit and education policy, first as a program and development director for nonprofit and higher education institutions. She later served as program officer and then executive director of the KDK-Harman Foundation, a family foundation based in Austin.
In 2011 while at the KDK-Harman Foundation, Jen founded the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC), a grantmaker collaborative that has grown to over 50 private family, corporate and community foundations across the state working to promote, protect and improve Texas public and higher education through advocacy and public policy. In this role, Jen worked closely with Texas philanthropists, education advocates, and policymakers to identify and develop policy solutions for the state’s most critical education challenges. Most recently, TEGAC (which was renamed Philanthropy Advocates this year) merged with Educate Texas at the Communities Foundation of Texas, where Jen became the director of policy at Educate Texas in 2019.
Jen also served as founder and principal of Esterline Consulting from 2013-2018, where she consulted with a number of philanthropic and nonprofit clients from across the state and nationally on issues of high-impact philanthropy, resource development, board development and management, strategic planning, coalition building, and effective advocacy and public policy strategies.
Jen grew up in Dallas and is the proud mom of three boys. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.