DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced the appointment of Erin Brown as the Executive Director of the Denver Office of Children’s Affairs, responsible for overseeing and advancing the city’s work to prepare Denver’s children to compete and succeed in the 21st century.
In addition to coordinating existing programs, identifying gaps in service and making concerted efforts to fill unmet needs for all Denver children, Brown will lead the work of the Children’s Cabinet and Denver Education Compact. Currently, Brown is the Deputy Director of Recreation in the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation.
“Erin transitions into this role with a proven track record of developing and expanding productive programs for Denver’s kids,” Mayor Hancock said. “She is a committed public servant who will continue the unprecedented work underway to ensure the success of all of Denver’s children. She is a champion for kids who will provide a seamless transition of this critical leadership role.”
Brown worked hand-in-hand with Children’s Affairs on the successful launch of the MY Denver Card program, a national model that provides children with healthy, productive activities after school and during the summer. Prior to the program, the city saw youth rec center visits drop to less than 1,000 per month. Now, with 57,000 children signed up for the card, the city is averaging more than 12,000 youth visits per month.
“I am truly excited and grateful to take on this new opportunity to help ensure our children possess the skills required to compete in the 21st century economy,” Brown said. “The future success of our city depends on all kids having access to quality schools and safe and engaging opportunities during out of school time. I look forward to working with parents, community organizations and business leaders to make this vision a reality.
Brown will also manage Mayor Hancock’s efforts to eliminate the achievement gap so that every Denver student, regardless of race, ethnicity, income or disability, has the resources and support necessary to graduate high school prepared for success in college and beyond. The Mayor currently serves as the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Educational Excellence Task Force and is part of the Mayor’s Educational Excellence Tour in partnership with Mayors Kevin Johnson and Angel Taveras as well as former Mayor Julian Castro.
Mayor Hancock thanked Lindsay Neil, Brown’s predecessor, who served the City and County of Denver for the past 2.5 years. Neil stepped down from her position at the city last month for a new opportunity as the Chief External Affairs Officer for STRIVE Preparatory Schools. During her time, Neil elevated the quality of programs and support the City and County of Denver provides to the city’s children, improving the coordination of services citywide and breaking down silos separating agencies that support children.
Brown will continue to deliver on the Hancock administration’s four primary education goals:
- Increase access to high quality early childhood education;
- Increase the number of high performing schools;
- Keep students on-track to graduate; and
- Ensure students have access to complete a post-secondary pathway.
With more than 15 years of leadership experience directing community programs and services, Brown has served the greater Denver community as the Director of Resident Services for Kappa Management, Vice President of Programs and Development for the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, and Executive Director for the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver.
Within these roles, Brown has become an expert in developing programs and educational initiatives addressing youth, elderly and minority issues. She is recognized as a skilled community advocate who excels at driving cohesive strategies and relevant tactics for social and economic development.
Brown continues to give back to the community by serving on several boards and organizations. She graduated from the University of Southern Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree. She currently resides in Denver with her husband and four children. She will begin on in this new appointment on August 11, 2014.