Developing Leaders Capacities to Lead Change and Achieve Impact

Community Action leaders can no longer be satisfied with ‘doing good things.’  We have an immediate urgency to commit to stretching the bounds of what is possible. We need to achieve a bigger impact than the best of what we’ve done before.  Accelerating change, and increasing impact requires leaders who help their staff, board members, and stakeholders commit to a shared agency vision, who understand how to harness the wisdom, gifts, and skills of their team to solve complex challenges, and who promote learning, outcomes and continual improvement. To demonstrate sustained positive impact, Community Action must move beyond being satisfied with the results of individual programs or services. We need to fit together the many parts of our agencies so the whole is greater than the parts. This session will help leaders consider their role in creating a shared sense of urgency in their agency for accelerating change, engaging a guiding coalition to help chart a path forward, articulating and continuously examining a vision for the future, developing shared services and strategies for realizing that vision, encouraging learning, and empowering others to be successful.  Various tools and resources such as videos, local theories of change, client panels, guiding coalitions, and design labs will be shared.  

Jeannie Chaffin brings extensive experience in designing and executing successful strategies and policies to build communities and create opportunities for individuals and families living in poverty.

Currently, through her consulting firm, she provides valuable assistance to Community Action Agencies, state organizations, and state and national associations as they pursue new means of increasing impact and optimizing achievements for communities and families.

From 2011 to 2017, Ms. Chaffin led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services (OCS) as a presidential appointee. In her role as OCS director, Ms. Chaffin managed nearly $7 billion in federal block grants and discretionary funds and successfully led the Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the core funding for this nation’s over one thousand Community Action Agencies.

Prior to her appointment at OCS, Ms. Chaffin served as a senior policy advisor for the National Association of State Community Services Programs, where she worked in tandem with state CSBG directors and federal officials to design and implement services for individuals and families with low incomes. Earlier in her career, Ms. Chaffin worked for the State of Missouri and at a local Community Action Agency in southwest Missouri, where she administered both the CSBG and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. 

Ms. Chaffin is deeply aware of the challenges human service organizations face at every level: local, state, and national. Throughout her extensive work in all parts of the country, Ms. Chaffin has engaged with diverse communities to identify new opportunities, set bold goals, and solve complex socioeconomic problems for communities and families living in poverty.

Ms. Chaffin, president of Jeannie Chaffin LLC (established in 2017), lives with her family in northern Virginia.