Florida Campaign Leadership
Brittany Olivieri Birken, Ph.D.
CEO of the Florida Children’s Council
Dr. Birken is the CEO of the Florida Children’s Council, leading businesses, organizations, agencies and other key stakeholders in efforts that support Florida’s children, youth and families. She coordinates resources and system development activities to enhance Florida’s collective efforts and ensure children are healthy, well cared for, learned, and prepared for a successful future. With recognition of the critical linkages between educational investments and economic development, Dr. Birken works closely with business and decision makers to create policies that support the current workforce, promote economic revitalization and develop a sustaining educational infrastructure to ensure talent growth and expansion for a continued vibrant and prosperous future for Florida.
In addition to her role with the Florida Children’s Council, Dr. Birken serves as a member of the Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Council, a board trustee for the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a member of the Workforce Florida Board of Directors, a board member of CareerSource Florida, a board member of Nemours BrightStart! Advisory Council, a member of Leadership Florida’s Class XXXIV and serves on many committees of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet. Through her work on the Innovation and Talent Caucus aligned to the Chamber of Commerce Six Pillars, as well as supporting the development of the Workforce Florida, Inc., Talent Pipeline initiative, Dr. Birken is focused on leveraging public and private partnerships in support of a comprehensive workforce development system.
Dr. Birken earned her Ph.D. in Child Development from Florida State University and has served at every level of the early education service delivery system. As a U.S. Health and Human Services Research Bureau Scholar, she has contributed to federal, state and local research, and has worked in many state-level education program and policy areas. As the former Director of the Office of Early Learning, Dr. Birken did extensive work in the development and implementation of a comprehensive, integrated system for Florida’s early education programs.
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Director of Grade-Level Reading at the Florida Children’s Council
Jennifer Faber is the Director of Grade-Level Reading at the Florida Children’s Council, providing leadership support and coordination for all aspects of the Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign. She works closely with the existing and developing community campaigns by providing technical assistance to the Community Leaders Network, ensuring access to resources needed to set outcomes for children, implement aligned activities, and demonstrate progress toward goals. Additionally, Ms. Faber helps facilitate connectivity among the campaign’s Early Childhood Policy Thought Leaders Forum, the Early Learning Business Leaders Alliance and the Funders Collaborative to ensure synergy and alignment throughout the campaign.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Sport Management at Robert Morris University (Pennsylvania), Ms. Faber relocated to Florida in 1986 to continue her career in early education. She co-authored the Florida Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs and the Florida Core Competencies for Afterschool Practitioners; served as the content expert for Florida Department of Children & Families online school-age modules; served eight years on the Florida After School Alliance Board of Directors; was a founding member of the Florida Afterschool Network; served as an Afterschool Alliance Ambassador and afterschool accreditation endorser; and lead several statewide network initiatives focused on provider/child relationships, early learning curriculum and quality afterschool services. Her extensive background in early learning and her reputation as a high-energy trainer has led to speaking engagements in 38 states as well as Germany and Japan.
Over the past thirty years, Ms. Faber has advocated for early learning issues, written articles for local, state and national publications, provided training and technical assistance to a wide variety of audiences, and assisted in the design of Florida’s early learning and afterschool professional-development systems. Her endless commitment and enthusiasm to “provide quality early learning experiences for all children” has made her lifelong work a daily pleasure!
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