NLC Announces Leadership for New Institute

Nation's Cities Weekly, February 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

NLC Announces Leadership for New Institute


Clifford M. Johnson, a public policy professional with extensive experience in areas involving children, youth and families, has been named the first executive director of a new Institute for Youth, Education and Families launched by the National League of Cities (NLC).

Johnson's appointment was announced by Donald J. Borut, NLC executive director. The Institute, created as the prime recommendation of a special NLC Task Force on Youth, Education and Families, will serve as a unique national resource to compile and disseminate local, neighbor-hood and community successes and outcomes of innovative youth and family programs across the country.

Johnson comes to NLC from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, where he served for three years as a senior fellow, working on issues involving welfare reform and job creation strategies. He is a former director of programs and policy of the Children's Defense Fund, where he worked for 11 years in areas including youth employment and family support. He has also worked as an independent and university-affiliated research consultant in Washington, D.C., and as a campaign issues director and chief legislative aide for former U.S. Rep. William Ratchford (D-Conn.).

"Mayors and other city officials increasingly are playing key roles in innovative efforts to improve the lives of our families and youth," said Johnson. "I believe the NLC's new Institute for Youth, Education and Families can serve as an important catalyst and resource for these initiatives, and I am excited to have the opportunity to be so directly involved in starting its work."

"We are fortunate and delighted to have someone with the credentials and experience that Cliff Johnson brings to this important new venture for NLC," said Borut. "The Institute will move NLC's efforts to new levels as a focal point and resource for ideas and information about the ways our cities and towns can meet the needs and tap the potential of our children and families."

Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston chaired the NLC Council on Youth, Education and Families that recommended establishment of the new Institute as a way to capture the experience and expertise of cities and towns that already are actively involved with youth and family programs that could serve as models for other communities.

"By concentrating its attention on strategies that support local efforts, this Institute will not be the typical government think-tank. It will be an action tank," Mayor Menino said. "It will help determine what works, what doesn't and why."

The Institute will be a resource to help equip local governments with information, tools, best practices and assistance needed to mobilize communities and help families to raise successful, caring and responsible children and adolescents.

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