It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Marlene Seltzer will retire as JFF’s President and CEO effective February 1, 2015. Marlene joined JFF in 1996 as Executive Vice President and became President and CEO in 2004.
Over the past decade, Marlene has been a catalyst for JFF’s growth, from expanding our workforce development efforts to cultivating our policy presence by opening our Washington DC office. Marlene’s tenacity, vision, and leadership have allowed JFF to expand our work across the education-to-employment “pipeline,” doing even more to enhance economic growth and increase opportunities for individuals and communities. For example, she guided the expansion of the Early College High School Initiative, which started with 3 schools in 2002 and today has more than 280 schools in over 30 states. Thanks to her efforts, JFF is firmly positioned as the national leader in the early college school movement.
Under Marlene’s leadership, we’ve expanded our work with community colleges and state agencies in creating career pathway initiatives to help underprepared learners succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce. In addition, she has led efforts to partner with JPMorgan Chase on its New Skills at Work initiative, which is currently focused on aligning education and workforce development efforts in nine major cities.
During her tenure, Marlene has overseen major efforts to redesign regional workforce systems, as well as the launch of sector-based initiatives ranging from health care to green jobs to advanced manufacturing. Chief amongst her accomplishments, Marlene has been instrumental in reshaping and diversifying JFF’s portfolio, which has been paramount to JFF’s growth and sustainability.
On a more personal note, Marlene has utilized her role as CEO to inspire, recruit, and mentor talented leaders throughout the organization and has fostered a culture of leadership, empowerment, and support. Marlene has always carried with her a true sense of responsibility for all of JFF’s employees and has created a space where people want to work together and, as a result, grow individually and collectively. This team-oriented culture of mentorship has become a fixture at JFF and will serve as Marlene’s legacy for years to come.
Please join us in congratulating Marlene on all of her many accomplishments within JFF and across the fields of education and workforce reform. We are proud that her enduring leadership, talented management, and ambitious vision have helped so many achieve economic opportunity.