Dear colleagues, supporters, partners and friends,
After 45 years as President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), I have decided to transition into a new role as President Emerita in the Office of the Founder. I will step away from CDF’s day-to-day responsibilities and will focus all my energies towards building a lasting movement for children to end child poverty and inequality through servant leadership development at key spiritual retreats and convenings at CDF’s Haley Farm and continue to provide a moral compass for CDF.
The mission of CDF has never been more important than it is today during these perilous times for children and for our nation. Though we face unprecedented challenges and threats to the safety and well-being of America’s children, we refuse to go backwards. No matter who holds the reins of political power, CDF will move forward in our mission to Leave No Child Behind® and ensure that every child has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage into adulthood.
I am proud of CDF’s groundbreaking work over the past 45 years and the significant progress we have made for millions of children and families, but there is still much work to be done. I look forward to supporting the Board of Directors in the search for a new President to lead CDF into its next chapter; someone who is committed to taking on the challenges children face today and those that will emerge in the future. I am confident that CDF will not miss a beat during this transition and as the national search commences for a new CDF President. On December 31, 2018, CDF’s Chief of Staff, Max Lesko, will become National Executive Director overseeing CDF’s day-to-day operations and reporting to the Board of Directors.
I am grateful for your support of and partnership with CDF. I hope you will continue to join CDF and me as we provide a strong, independent and unwavering voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves.
With a positive light looking to the future,
Marian Wright Edelman