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Announcing the 4th Annual Graziadio School Waves of Service Award Winner!

Janis Spire (MBA ‘87) is a true champion for the most vulnerable children in our society and an expert at helping growing organizations develop and realize their potential.  Janis joined the Alliance for Children’s Rights in 2002 as its President and CEO.  In her decade-long tenure, she has led the organization through multiple strategic plans and has expanded the scope and impact of its legal advocacy and education programs reaching impoverished, abused and disabled children.  This work led to the most successful fundraising trajectory in the organization’s 20-year history, tripling its size. 

Los Angeles Magazine named Spire as one of the top 10 in its “2012 Game Changers” list of women who impact L.A.

Spire significantly augmented Alliance programs and created innovative initiatives, including the Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline Project, the Saltz Family Early Intervention Advocacy Center and the Children’s Health & Advocacy Clinic at LA County + Medical Center.  

In 2006, she oversaw the creation of the NextSTEP Program to help mentor and support vulnerable teens turning 18 and aging out of foster care. With a deep understanding of the dismal outcomes for transition-age youth, Spire led the Alliance to partner on Fostering Connections to Success—statewide legislation that extended foster care to age 21.  This law and Alliance advocates give youth a safety net so they can realize their education and professional goals.

Before joining the Alliance, Spire served eight years as the Chief Operating Officer of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, an internationally-known and respected children’s medical research and advocacy organization.  While there, she implemented a successful growth strategy and played a key role in its expansion.  Prior to that, she worked for over a decade as a leader in healthcare and medical practice management.

Spire was born and raised in New York and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at City University of New York, Queens College.  While at the New York City Board of Education she learned first-hand about the special needs of mentally challenged inner city youth.  Upon moving to California, she earned her MBA from Pepperdine University.  She has a strong commitment to a spiritual practice and enjoys yoga, music and spending time with her family including her two grandchildren.

Janis will be presented with this honor at the 5th Annual George Awards.  She is giving the $2,000 award to the Alliance for Children’s Rights.  Congrats, Janis!