DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced the appointment of Lindsay Neil as the Executive Director of Children’s Affairs to lead the Mayor’s Office of Education and Children (MOEC).
Reflecting the high priority Mayor Hancock has placed on children’s issues, Neil will elevate the quality of programs, improve coordination of services and break down silos separating city agencies that support children.
Neil is currently the Executive Director of Stand for Children’s Colorado affiliate. Stand for Children is a nationwide education advocacy group, and Neil is responsible for all aspects of the Colorado branch’s operations. Her appointment is effective Nov. 7.
“Lindsay is a strong education leader who has dedicated herself to preparing our children for every stage of life from cradle to career,” Mayor Hancock said. “She shares my commitment to ensuring that all Denver kids have an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential and succeed. She will help ensure we are providing the very best to every child in every neighborhood.”
The Executive Director of Children’s Affairs is responsible for overseeing and advancing three strategic areas: early childhood care and education, after school and summer programs and youth development.
Neil will also lead the City in partnering with Denver Public Schools and other youth-serving programs across Denver.
“At the City, we understand that the school door swings both ways, and that the greatest impact we can make on every child is to provide the very best programs and services on the other side of that school door,” Mayor Hancock said. “That requires an education department that will streamline all efforts surrounding children from public safety to human services to economic development.”
Among Neil’s highest priorities will be to coordinate existing programs, agencies and departments throughout the City, identifying gaps in service and leading concerted efforts to fill unmet needs for all Denver children.
Neil will also work hand-in-hand with the Mayor's Denver Education Compact all-star leadership team, including Compact Executive Director Theresa Peña.
“I am honored to join Mayor Hancock’s bold team of leaders,” Neil said. “Far too many of Denver’s children lack the means necessary to succeed in life. Together, we can ensure Denver becomes a world-class city where everyone matters, where we provide our kids with equal access to health care, food and shelter and where we prepare every child for a 21st Century workforce.”
For more than 10 years, Neil has been dedicated to improving kids’ lives by leading initiatives to advance public education and advocating for policies and funding to reach students and classrooms.
Prior to joining Stand for Children in 2009, Neil spent four years developing and executing a policy agenda and directing a grassroots advocacy network for Colorado Children’s Campaign.
“With her depth of expertise, people skills and dedication to the children of Denver, Lindsay offers a complete package to serve as Executive Director,” said former Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, who previously served as president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “After working with Lindsay for six years, I know she has the ability to push a steadfast children’s agenda forward. She will be an outstanding addition to the Hancock administration.”
Neil has a strong history of advocating for important education policy at the Colorado State Capitol, including Senate Bill 191 and the Innovation Schools Act. She also played a key role in the reduction of waitlists for preschools, expansion of full-day kindergarten and creation of opportunities for high school students to earn associate degrees throughout Colorado.
Neil began her career by working for several years in the nonprofit sector providing direct services to children and families at a school-based family resource center and as a bilingual case manager for youth in the juvenile justice system.