Claudia Vargas to join Foundation as program officer for Children, Youth and Families
August 20, 2020: Claudia Vargas will join The Ford Family Foundation as a program officer for the department of Children, Youth and Families. She will begin work on September 14. In her position, Vargas will support the Foundation’s work to promote early childhood success and kindergarten readiness. She will work with the team to further develop and manage a portfolio of projects aimed at improving alignment between early childhood education, K-12 and health and human service systems.
Vargas comes to the Foundation from the Community Development Institute Head Start where she helped support the functioning of quality Head Start programs across the United States. From her home in rural Texas, Claudia has helped lead teams from places across the country through organizational development and change-management processes. She has a deep background working with families in childcare settings, home-based settings and with parenting education.
Previously, she served as project director at Thrive NYC which is part of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She administered a citywide Network of 15 early childhood programs and a training and technical assistance Center focused on building capacity in the early childhood workforce. Vargas also worked as an early childhood trainer with CUNY’s Early Childhood Professional Development Institute for three years.
“We are delighted to have Claudia join the Foundation,” said Keavy Cook, director of the Children, Youth and Families department. “Her deep experience in early childhood development and mental health will be extremely helpful in the Foundation's work with our youngest community members.”
The aim of the Children, Youth and Families department is to increase the number of children in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California, who are thriving, supported and prepared to transition successfully to adulthood. The department maintains a focus on kindergarten readiness and a high-quality K-12 school experience.
“Claudia’s experience in working with family childcare providers, school readiness programs, curriculum planning and staff professional development fits in beautifully with our objectives,” Cook said.
Vargas holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Intercontinental University in Mexico City and has done postgraduate studies in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. She is a Parent Child Home Program Certified Supervisor.