Jen Roberts

Jen Roberts

New Orleans Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, Economic Opportunities Program

Founding Executive Director, New Orleans Early Education Network, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Jen Roberts is a seasoned non-profit executive with more than 20 years of experience building access to high-quality opportunities for children, youth, and families.

She is the President of Agenda for Children, an advocacy organization founded in 1984 to improve the well-being of Louisiana’s children. She previously served as the organization’s Founding Executive Director of NOEEN, a public/private partnership created by local early childhood practitioners, New Orleans Public Schools, and the LA Department of Education to increase access to quality early childhood education in Orleans Parish. In 2019, she created the Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund, a multi-million dollar grantmaking program for childcare centers across Southeast Louisiana, and co-founded the New Orleans Early Education Research Alliance with Tulane University faculty. These achievements, coupled with her prior experience managing programs at Louisiana’s largest private foundation and creating innovative programs in the nonprofit, K12 education, corporate, and higher education sectors, have made her a trusted strategic advisor to organizational leaders worldwide.

She currently serves as a politically appointed member of Louisiana’s Early Childhood Advisory Council and was named a 2019 Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Fellow. She serves on the boards of The Cowen Institute at Tulane University and the Bureau of Governmental Research. A native of the Gulf Coast, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University. She has called New Orleans home since 2002.

Jen Roberts is a member of the New Orleans Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2019, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

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