Tracy Nájera, Ph.D, MPA is named Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio

Please join us in welcoming Tracy Nájera to CDF-Ohio as Executive Director. 

Tracy, who began her career with CDF-Ohio as a Research Fellow, has continued her commitment to improving the lives of children and their families throughout her professional career.  Most recently, Tracy served as a Senior Consultant for Education First Consulting where she supported school districts and education partners to improve education outcomes for children.  Previously, she spent six years as a Senior Director of the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative at Battelle for Kids where her responsibilities included managing a federal project with the state of Ohio to improve the efficacy of teachers serving students in Appalachian Ohio.  Tracy also spent eight years at the State Office of Budget and Management, a majority of which she served as the Section Chief for Education under three Governors.

Tracy brings to her work with CDF-Ohio an understanding of the complex issues that impact children, proven effectiveness as an advocate in nonprofit and government settings, experience with systems that are and are not working for young people across Ohio, and an unrelenting passion for CDF’s mission. 



CDF-Ohio began our investigation into Appalachian Ohio with our 2001 report—Ohio’s Appalachian Children—which provided a first-ever comprehensive look into the well-being of the region’s children. The region continues to suffer many of the same challenges today—poverty, health disparities, and pervasive food insecurity to name a few—that existed in 2001. While there are signs of hope, the passage of time has made many of the problems more acute.

It is a critical time for Appalachian Ohio. CDF-Ohio has a long commitment to this region. We present this report—Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action—to bring awareness to the region’s current challenges and, more importantly, to promising practices and recommendations for action.

Video Showroom

Child poverty is not an abstract problem, it's real for too many children in America. They face challenges no children in the richest nation on earth should have to face. Listen and share their stories.

Together we will #EndChildPoverty. Here's how.

"Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival If Stopped by the Police” provides critical information to help Black parents and every member of the community help stop the killing of Black children. We must talk to our children. We must show them this video. We must post these ten rules for survival everywhere.

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