Kate Warren Barnes / Vice President of Policy and Government Relations
Kate spearheads Jumpstart’s policy advocacy activities. Kate and the policy and government affairs (PGR) team, work to advance Jumpstart’s advocacy agenda in early education, higher education, and national service. The PGR team leverages strategic relationship and movement building with policymakers, partner organizations, Jumpstart alumni and impacted constituencies to address the challenges we are facing in the early care and education sector and workforce.
Kate is a social worker and a relentless champion for social justice who has worked to build a more equitable world using policy advocacy to dismantle systemic oppression. For over a decade, Kate has utilized roles in government affairs combined with an inclusive leadership style, to promote movement building in community with children and families to improve health and wellbeing. Examples of this include Kate’s service in policy and government affairs roles at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter, and Harbor Health Services.
In service to her community, Kate also serves as a licensed foster care provider and volunteers on several nonprofit board including the American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts, and Project Bread, a statewide nonprofit working to solve and prevent hunger in Massachusetts.
As a curious lifelong learner and believer that education is a form of liberation, Kate serves as an adjunct professor at Boston University’s Graduate School of Social Work and is a doctoral student at the Sacred Heart University School of Social Work.
Kate strives to balance work, academics and community service by finding joy in soul care that includes exploring different health and wellness practices, traveling, vegan baking and cheering on the New England Patriots.
Zuhirah Khaldun-Diarra / Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Brand
Denise Nelson / Vice President, Development
Denise worked at Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF) a nonprofit and microlender working to create an inclusive, healthy ﬁnancial system that supports the nation’s small business owners-especially entrepreneurs of color and women- by connecting them to aﬀordable capital, educational resources, coaching, and networks. Here she worked a development team responsible for the organization’s $150MM Equity Campaign and $45MM Small Business Relief Fund and developed an initiative focused on support of Black entrepreneurs and managed two donor affinity networks and AOF’s Southern California Regional Board.
She’s also worked at CLARE|MATRIX, a Southern California based addiction treatment center and at a NYC based advocacy and social service agency, FPWA (formerly Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies).
Prior to joining FPWA, Nelson led the development efforts for two leading educational organizations, Eagle Academy Foundation and PENCIL, and served as Associate Vice President of Major Gifts at United Way of New York City. She also served at Habitat for Humanity in New York City. She currently serves on Facing History’s Los Angeles Advisory Board and was a member of the AFP-NYC Board until 2020.