Michael McAfee, President at PolicyLink, began his service at PolicyLink in 2011. Under his leadership, PolicyLink has emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems that are ensuring that all children and youth in America have a pathway into the middle class. Central to this equitable systems-change are communities of opportunity, where all children can grow up with access to great schools and strong systems of family and community supports that prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and/or a career. As Vice President for Programs, Michael joins the Executive Team and Program Teams in strategic planning, policy development, policy campaign strategy, and programmatic design and implementation at the local, state, and national levels.
Jessica Pizarek, Senior Associate provides technical assistance to communities across the country seeking to plan, operationalize, and sustain cradle-to-career systems of supports for all children and families. In addition, she specifically supports the development and management of sustainability efforts for the national Promise Neighborhoods network. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Jessica worked with Step Up Savannah, a 100-partner collaborative focused on improving economic mobility and financial stability for all families in Savannah, Georgia where she facilitated interagency collaboration and supported the development of equitable local and state policy agendas. Jessica has also supported the City of New York’s Housing and Neighborhood Study of the educational outcomes of children living in mixed-income public housing, the Forgotten Navajo People Community Development Corporation, and UC Berkeley’s 2048 Project. Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in Education Policy & Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.