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Leadership Team

Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD

President and CEO

Elisabeth_Babcock

Elisabeth D. Babcock (Beth) is the President and CEO of Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU). In this role, she oversees the $11 million organization and drives its research and innovation strategy to consistently deliver new programmatic and public policy approaches expediting pathways out of poverty. CWU provides groundbreaking economic mobility mentoring, housing, education and workforce development programs, performs applied research, and conducts public advocacy initiatives designed to eliminate obstacles to economic self-sufficiency.

Her academic and professional work focuses on the strategic leadership of mission-driven organizations. Two of her most recent articles have appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), “Your Nonprofit Construction Manager: Complex Solutions Need Dedicated Project Managers,” ( Download PDF ) summer 2009, and “Achieving Breakthrough Performance,” ( Download PDF ) summer 2008, named top SSIR article of the year.

Prior to joining CWU in 2006, Beth was the President and CEO of Hearth, a nonprofit organization that she developed into a nationally-recognized model of supported housing, advocacy and research for homeless elders. Before joining Hearth, she was the Vice President of Strategy for Northeast Health Systems, a $285 million-dollar vertically-integrated health care system.

Beth received a master's degree in city and regional planning, with a concentration in health and human services policy and planning, from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and holds a PhD in nonprofit strategy from Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught nonprofit strategy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Charles Carter, Jr., PhD, LICSW

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Charles_Carter

Charles Carter (Chuck) oversees all CWU direct service programs, assisting approximately 1,500 low-income individuals annually, including women and their families, teens, and young adults. He also directs the delivery of clinical/behavioral health services and supervises CWU’s Human Resources, Research and Innovation, and Facilities Departments.

Chuck enjoys almost 20 years of experience in Boston-area nonprofit social services.Before joining CWU in 2007, he served as the Director of the Massachusetts Child Welfare Institute. For the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, he held the positions of Metro Boston Regional Director and Northeast Regional Director. From 1997-2002, he was the Director of Network Services for the Home of Little Wanderers where he supervised seven clinical programs. Previous to that, he fulfilled increasingly responsible roles as a clinician/social worker/manager with Wediko Children’s Services.

Chuck obtained his master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his PhD in social work from Boston College.

RICHARD GAIR, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Richard_Gair

Richard Gair joined CWU as its Chief Financial Officer in 2011. Richard leads the five-member Finance Team and manages the organization's accounting and contract operations, budgeting process, and overall financial strategy. In addition, he oversees CWU's Information Technology systems.

Prior to becoming CWU’s finance head, Richard served as CFO of Revinet, an online ad network optimizer. He began his career at Arthur Andersen and later held positions at The Boston Globe and boston.com, moving from controller–subsidiaries at the Globe to director of finance and administration and advancing to vice president and general manager at boston.com.

Richard is a certified public accountant and received his BS from Boston College. He has also studied at the graduate level in computer science at Harvard University and taken leadership trainings at Duke University and Dartmouth College. Richard volunteers his services as treasurer of the board of directors of Dwight Derby House in Medfield, Mass..

Aisha Francis-Samuels, PhD

Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Aisha Francis-Samuels provides strategic leadership to generate private philanthropic support for CWU’s programs.  Her team is also responsible for marketing and communications efforts to raise awareness about CWU and the challenges low-income women face.

Before joining the CWU leadership team in 2010, Aisha was director of major gifts and donor relations at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation where she established philanthropic partnerships to support education and community outreach programs. Prior to that, she served as foundation relations officer at Boston Medical Center securing critical corporate and foundation grant funding for women and children’s health programs.

In addition to her expertise in resource development, Aisha brings a longstanding personal and academic interest in the advancement of women and social justice. She holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in English literature from Vanderbilt University, where she served as a lecturer in women's studies and taught various literature courses. Aisha holds a BA from Fisk University where she also taught African- American literature and culture. 

Kersten Lanes, MBA

Vice President of Strategic Development

As Vice President of Strategic Development, Kersten Lanes directs CWU’s efforts to share knowledge, build relationships with potential partner organizations, and expand the reach of our services.  She is responsible for driving the CWU Mobility Mentoring Learning Network, leveraging existing CWU services, tools and methodologies into new platforms, geographic markets, or with new strategic partners.

Joining CWU in 2013, Kersten brings 25 years of private sector experience formulating strategy, driving innovation, and delivering change through knowledge management to her role.  She was a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston and New York where she advised clients on expansion strategies, mergers and acquisitions, partnering, and invention.  She has led the formation of pioneering business networks, seeking to speed learning and new product development, and has turned breakthrough ideas into actionable plans. Her prior consulting work focused on organizations in the healthcare, education and services industries.  
 
Kersten holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  She has had a lifelong dedication to volunteer non-profit and philanthropic work, serving a number of organizations as board member, grant-maker, and volunteer consultant. Kersten is particularly interested in programs that benefit women and girls.
 

Ruthie Liberman, MPA

Vice President of Public Policy

Ruthie_Liberman

As Vice President of Public Policy, Ruthie Liberman directs CWU’s advocacy efforts to shape public policy and achieve social change that will help lift low-income families out of poverty and into the middle class.

Ruthie assumed her current position in 2008, after having administered many of CWU’s programs from 1996 through 2003, and again from 2005-2008. Her hands-on experience invaluably informs her current public policy work. Before joining CWU, Ruthie worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and ran a pediatric and family AIDS program at Dimock Community Health Center for six years.

Her previous public policy experience includes serving as the Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and a Senate Fellowship in the California Legislature. Ruthie received her bachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Catherine MacAulay, MPH, RN

Vice President of Programs

Charles_CarterCatherine MacAulay oversees CWU’s emergency, transitional, and supportive housing services as well as the Healthy Families program.

Catherine brings more than 30 years of experience to her role, having held key clinical and administrative positions in health care. Prior to joining CWU in 2009, Catherine led its year-long risk management initiative on a consulting basis. From 2001-2006, Catherine served as Executive Director of the Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Previously, she held the position of Senior Quality Assurance (QA) Advisor for the University Research Corporation in Bethesda, Md. In this capacity, she advised health ministries and hospitals in Egypt, Russia, Africa, and India on QA methodology. She also worked with WHO’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Catherine began her career working in health care in Seattle, Wash.

A registered nurse, Catherine received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota and both a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a family nurse practitioner degree from Seattle Pacific University.

Judy Parks

Vice President of Mobility Mentoring® Programs and Services

Judy Parks

As Vice President of Mobility Mentoring® Programs and Services, Judy Parks leads the implementation of CWU’s groundbreaking economic mobility platform both within the organization and in collaboration with external partners.

Judy draws on her 25 years’ experience working to reduce racial, gender, and economic divides at the YWCA Boston. There Judy helped provide low-income women and their families affordable housing and supportive services in increasing positions of responsibility. Her YWCA career culminated in her appointment as Vice President for Real Estate in charge of the redevelopment of the organization’s flagship building in Boston’s Back Bay. She joined CWU March 2009 to operationalize its innovative Career Family Opportunity program, built on its Mobility Mentoring model. She heads up CWU’s economic mobility partnerships with Heading Home and the Cambridge Housing Authority.

Judy is the former chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals in Pembroke, Mass., and holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Rhode Island College.

Deborah Connolly Youngblood, PhD

Vice President of Research and Innovation

Deborah_Youngblood

Deborah Connolly Youngblood supervises all CWU research and evaluation projects and supports the organization’s new program development and public advocacy.

Deborah joined Crittenton Women's Union in 2007 after spending 10 years conducting community-based research on issues related to low-income families. Her work includes a study of adolescent girls being raised by grandmothers, a study of youth alumni of a residential treatment facility, a study of the relationships between social service providers and clients, and a study of independent living skills programs for foster youth. Deborah is the author of Homeless Mothers: Face to Face with Women and Poverty (Connolly, University of Minnesota Press, 2000) as well as several articles. Her current research at CWU explores best practices for promoting economic independence for homeless and very low-income women and their families.

Deborah holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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