Jennifer Frey Comes Home to Lead Every Child Succeeds

Cincinnati native, Jennifer Frey, steps into the role of president of Every Child Succeeds with a wealth of experience as an accomplished researcher, clinician and educator, well-suited to take the organization to the next level. She says she’s excited and grateful for the opportunity.

“What is so appealing to me about Every Child Succeeds is the tremendous track record they have improving outcomes for families in the community, as well as the very strong emphasis on research and evaluation,” Frey said. “They are very systematic and intentional in how they integrate research into their practices. For me that was a huge draw. This is also the first time I can apply the whole scope of my training and experiences into one position.”

Frey joins Every Child Succeeds after eight years on the faculty at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she was a tenured associate professor in special education and disability studies and director of the early intervention and autism graduate programs in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

After spending a year on a research sabbatical at Cincinnati Children’s as a visiting professor, Frey realized she wanted to return home. With her mom and other family in town, the time and the opportunity were right. To top it off, Frey herself is a new mom to 7-month-old Henry. “I can relate to a lot of new moms out there. I feel that new-mom stress and what it’s like to have a baby in a pandemic.”

“We are delighted that Jennifer has chosen to return to Cincinnati and bring her passion for early childhood development, her intellectual and process rigor and her belief in moms and babies to get off to a great start in life,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children’s.

Frey is beyond excited to begin the journey at Every Child Succeeds. “First, I want to learn the organization and honor the amazing work that Judy and her team have accomplished, and I hope that I can continue those accomplishments and her legacy. My goal is to continue to extend and expand their good work. It’s important for all families who have been served and will be served.”

Likewise, the team is happy to have her on board. “Jennifer’s academic credentials, research background and community work position her well to take the organization to the next level of reach and impact. We’re eager for what’s to come,” said Margaret Clark, director of operations for Every Child Succeeds.

With a supportive staff, Frey is happy to take on the challenge of leading the nationally recognized home-visiting program. She also knows that the foundation for success has been laid. “If you had a program that wasn’t as good, you’d spend all your time trying to fix it. So the nice piece here is that I don’t have to fix, I have the opportunity to build and enhance, and I’m grateful for that and the Every Child Succeeds and Cincinnati Children’s teams.”

Said Fisher, “What’s great is that Jennifer brings the spirit of innovation to build on Every Child Succeeds, with the understanding that community engagement and partnerships play an important role in the Cincinnati region and early childhood ecosystem.”

Frey says she’ll have a particular focus in three areas: building those relationships, engaging in conversations around diversity, and achieving child and family outcomes with a reach to more families. “With the COVID-19 pandemic and the social movement, this is also an ideal time for Every Child Succeeds to explore how we can expand our activities and refine what we do—not only to respond to the changes but also to be proactive and anticipate how we can meet the needs of families in our communities.”

Frey acknowledged the need to move to telehealth, to modify and rebuild programming with high quality services and intentionally design programs so they can be accessed through a variety of modalities that eliminate barriers as well as address issues of equity and inclusion. “We want to be responsive to the changing demographics and resources,” she said.

“I’m excited and energized. I have the wind at my back and much gratitude for those who have paved the way.”

Jennifer Frey, PhD, BCBA-D, with her son, Henry.

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