Jennifer is the founder and deputy director of Educate Texas' Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC), a collaboration of private, corporate and community foundations across the state working to promote, protect and improve Texas public education through advocacy and public policy.
Through this role, she provides executive leadership and project management for TEGAC and executes its strategic plan. She builds and maintains relationships with Texas policymakers and philanthropic and nonprofit partners and manages a grants portfolio of nonprofit partners working with TEGAC to execute policy projects.
Jennifer has been working in the nonprofit space for over 15 years, first as a program and development director for nonprofit and higher education institutions, and later as executive director for the KDK-Harman Foundation in Austin.
She also served as founder and principal of Esterline Consulting from 2013-2019, where she consulted with a number of philanthropic and nonprofit clients from across the state and nationally on issues of high-impact philanthropy, resource development, board development and management, strategic planning, collective impact, coalition building, and effective advocacy and public policy strategies. Through her consulting work, she helped the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute develop and implement a multiyear, multimillion-dollar resource development initiative across Texas.
A proud product of Texas public education, Jennifer grew up in Dallas and holds a bachlor's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Community Leadership / Board ServiceOver the past decade, Jennifer has volunteered in a number of capacities for a variety of nonprofits working in the fields of education and health and human services. She serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Central Texas. Jennifer lives in Austin with her husband and three boys. She hopes to carry on the family tradition by inspiring her children with a passion for nonprofit work and a commitment to public service.
Favorite Aspect of CFT
"I have dedicated my professional life to working in the world of nonprofits, policy and education, and I believe that community foundations are some of the most exciting places to work in the philanthropic and nonprofit space. CFT serves a unique and critical role in the North Texas community, and Educate Texas is a leader in public and higher education in the state. The work that TEGAC does through CFT/Educate Texas to unite grantmakers around a shared vision of protecting, promoting and improving public education through effective policy and advocacy is critical to ensuring that 7 million Texas students get access to an excellent education from cradle to career."
"People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."