Judy Watts Child Advocacy Center

This new entity, which will operate within the current organization structure, is being named after Agenda for Children’s founder and executive director, who led the organization from 1984 until her retirement in 2010. Under Judy’s leadership, Agenda engaged in a wide range of activities to fulfill its mission, ranging from filing amicus briefs in landmark child welfare lawsuits, to founding the state’s first child care resource and referral agency, and from producing publications on the well-being of children to managing a statewide coalition of partners dedicated to ensuring that all kids and families in our state have health insurance coverage. The Center will accomplish this by engaging directly in advocacy, as well as by supporting allies and child-serving organizations in their own advocacy efforts.

Position Summary: The Center Director must have a passion for issues that affect all aspects of children’s well-being. He/she must have experience in developing and implementing a clear strategic vision for an organization and the ability to work with people from all walks of life to achieve its objectives. He/she must understand the political system, have experience in legislative advocacy, have a highly collaborative work style, an ability to listen and foster productive working relationships (among a staff, a board, partners and allies), solicit and encourage differing points of view, build consensus for action and be able to work in a bi-partisan fashion to develop policy solutions. He/she must also have experience using social media and the ability to work with representatives of the media. Finally, the Director he/she will have the capacity to establish a prominent and active presence in the greater New Orleans area.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Organizational Leadership

  • Work with the CEO, board of directors, an advisory board, organization partners and allies to develop and implement a strategic plan to guide the Center’s work;
  • Recruit and manage a small staff of 2 – 3 people;
  • Utilize the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Seven Steps” to advance and embed race equity and inclusion within the center’s work;
  • Manage the center’s budget;
  • Fundraise for the Center;
  • Provide advocacy support and related technical assistance to child- and family-focused organizations;


  • Develop partnerships with other local and statewide child advocacy organizations;
  • Foster relationships across the community to build public understanding of children’s issues, and increase support for policies that improve child well-being;
  • Leverage support available through the Center’s national KIDS Count and other child advocacy networks to strengthen and inform the advocacy efforts of partner organizations;
  • Engage in strategic communications with the media, as well as diverse audiences (i.e., elected officials, educators, physicians, social service providers, business leaders, philanthropists, etc.) to build support for the Center’s policy agenda
  • Build coalitions and strategic alliances with partners, community leaders and other allies at multiple levels to advance an agenda;

Public Policy Development

  • Develop a policy agenda with clear, measurable short,-medium,-and long-term goals;
  • Coordinate and oversee the production and distribution of policy briefs, research reports, and other publications;
  • Use data-based approaches to collaborate with diverse partners and allies to craft effective policy options;

Media & Communications

  • Utilize a variety of marketing and public relations techniques to advance the Center’s goals.