Janelle Cousino, Vice President
Janelle Cousino, Vice President and Chief Network Weaver, has extensive experience in directing organizations and developing advocacy strategies around public policies both locally and internationally. In 2000, she returned to the United States from a three-year assignment as Resident Office Director and Senior Program Officer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Moscow, Russia, where she worked with many international, national, and local civic organizations and political party groups in their efforts to build democratic institutions.
Ms. Cousino has consulted, directed, or chaired many state-level advocacy campaigns. She led grassroots legislative campaigns on issues such as insurance, tax reform, health care, banking reform, and job protection. She was a principal force in campaigns for increasing funding for poverty programs, passing handgun control, and securing funds for affordable housing. In addition to her direct experience conducting campaigns, she has helped dozens of groups in the United States, Canada, and the former Soviet Union through consultations and training on strategic planning for advocacy and has served as director of the Maryland Citizen Action Coalition, a statewide coalition that comprises 105 organizations and more than 75,000 family members.
Her recent work includes coalition building and advocacy work with the Afterschool Alliance and creation and support of statewide afterschool networks, which are broad coalitions of public, private, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Ms. Cousino is currently working in all 50 states coaching state and regional leaders on building and sustaining diverse networks that can demonstrate a wide breadth of support and concern for their issues. Ms. Cousino is also sought after for conference and workshop presentations and meeting facilitation.