Leon Russell, Board Chair

Leon W. Russell has served on the Board of Directors for The Children’s Campaign since 2002. Mr. Russell retired in January 2012 after serving as the Director of the Office of Human Rights for Pinellas County Government, Clearwater, Florida. He had held this position since January 1977.

Mr. Russell served as the President of the Florida State Conference of Branches of the NAACP from January 1996 until January 2000, after serving for fifteen years as the First Vice President. He has served as a member of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP since 1990. He has served the Board as the Assistant Secretary and also as Vice Chairman. In 2017, he was named Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP.

In September 2007, Mr. Russell was elected President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies. The IAOHRA Membership is agency based and consists of statutory human and civil rights agencies throughout the United States and Canada, and also includes representation from several other nations. These agencies enforce state and local civil rights laws, and are actively engaged in reducing and resolving intergroup tension and promoting intergroup relations.

He is also a member of the International City Management Association; member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators; past Board Member of the Pinellas Opportunity Council, past President and Board Member of the National Association of Human Rights Workers; and member of the Blueprint Commission on Juvenile Justice with responsibility for recommending reforms to improve the juvenile justice system in the state of Florida.

Christina Roberto, Secretary

crobertoWhile earning her double Master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Work from Florida State University, Christina served several roles at The Children’s Campaign through The Apprenticeship Center including the Public Policy Resident and the Online Advocacy Coordinator. Throughout her time with the organization, she developed an in-depth understanding of juvenile justice, child welfare, early learning, and other issues impacting children by researching best practices and advocating at the public policy level.

After serving as a targeted case manager for BayCare Behavioral Health in the Tampa Bay area addressing children and families experiencing mental illness, she moved into a public and organizational policy role involving drug use and abuse. More recently she relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is employed by Smart Marketer as the Project Manager and Event Coordinator. She coordinates the workflow and process of the company to ensure projects are delivered on time and works towards putting together flawless events that benefit clients and the company.

Katie Ross, Chair, Nominations Committee

jlighterKatie is a native Floridian and a lifelong public servant. The daughter and granddaughter of public-school teachers, service is a family affair. She had the honor of serving as U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s Northeast Florida’s Regional Director for 6 years. Katie went on to serve as Chief of Staff for Florida State College at Jacksonville, manage Judge Maureen Horkan’s successful campaign for the Group 18 seat on the 4th Judicial Circuit Court, and serve as a consultant on numerous projects involving community development, homelessness, and film production. She started her political career as an intern on Betty Castor’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2004. Katie is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Public Administration.

Ann Segal

Ann Segal is President of Action Strategies which advises and supports fund raising and shaping and evaluating strategic initiatives of foundations and organizations, particularly in the areas of early childhood development, child welfare, children’s health, welfare programs, parent education and support, and service systems coordination. She is currently consulting with the Urban Institute around their large effort to model the effects of federal proposals and enacted actions related to low-income children and families and providing training to Urban staff on working with foundations and the federal government.

Until mid-2013, Ann developed the Wellspring Advisors’ docket for the domestic Disadvantaged Children and Families. As the Program Director, she focused on policy advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels for numerous services for disadvantaged children and their families.

Before joining Wellspring in 2003, Ann was the President of Action Strategies. She spent several years as a Senior Manager and Director of the Washington Office of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, focusing on advocacy for children’s issues which included funding the 17-state early childhood indicators project. Her over 20 years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were spent almost entirely in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). In the second half of that time, she served as a career Senior Executive and retired from the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Initiatives in 2000.

Prior to her time in government, Ann founded and directed the non-profit Clara Barton Center for Children, which remains a high-quality non-profit child care center in Cabin John, Maryland. Ann has a bachelor’s degree in child study (child development) from Vassar College and a master’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.