Jennifer Barahona, CEO

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Jennifer Barahona /

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer D. Barahona, LCSW

Jennifer joined Norwalk ACTS as Chief Executive Officer in April 2019. Prior to taking the helm at Norwalk ACTS Jennifer served as Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer for the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. Founded after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Foundation played a critical leadership role in the development of short and long term funding support for the community and those who were most impacted by the tragedy. Jennifer built the Foundation from the ground up and continues to serve as an advisor to the Foundation and Newtown community.

As a licensed clinical social worker, Jennifer has spent her career in the social sector. During her 13 year tenure at Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk, she served as Director of Youth Services as well as a long-term member of the team assigned to assist with the recovery efforts and follow up work with families in Connecticut who lost loved ones in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Jennifer developed a passion for social justice during her early career as an advocate working with women and children exposed to domestic violence and educating young people about healthy relationships through community education. She credits Columbia professor Richard Cloward, as well as her work as a policy researcher and community organizer for the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, for her lifelong passion for social justice and the engagement of disenfranchised communities. Eager to help grow the macro-level perspective in the field of social work and develop new talent, Jennifer serves as an adjunct professor in the Social Work Department at Sacred Heart University.

Jennifer received a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.  She lives in Fairfield, CT with her husband, a local high school teacher, and their two school-aged children.