EBCLO’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Barrie Becker begins as East Bay Children’s Law Offices’ new Executive Director today. She follows Interim Executive Director Susan Walsh, who ably led EBCLO during the search period after EBCLO’s founding Executive Director, Roger Chan, was appointed to the San Francisco Superior Court as Judge last July. “The Board’s focus for hiring a new Executive Director was to locate a candidate with strong non-profit management experience and successful fundraising experience,” says Board President Kathy Siegel. “Ms. Becker excels in both these areas. Those who know her well describe Barrie as brilliant, talented, dynamic, incredibly innovative, hard-working and passionate about working to improve the lives of traditionally underserved children and youth.”
Becker, an attorney who herself helped launch a non-profit called Legal Community Against Violence in 1993, a San Francisco-based organization (now called the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence) and served as its Executive Director for 7 years says, “following Roger Chan, the founding ED, and then Susan Walsh, is a responsibility I do not take lightly.” Becker says she feels supported in that “extremely talented founding senior leaders are staying on, along with a dedicated group of social workers, attorneys, operations professionals and board members . . . I am very fortunate to join this team and build upon such a strong foundation.”
Barrie sharpened her skills as a social entrepreneur by engaging lawyers in drafting and defending local firearm safety ordinances, and partnering with law enforcement leaders to spread training of police on implicit bias and fair and equitable decision-making. Prior to joining EBCLO, Becker served as California Director, for Council for a Strong America and its project Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. One of her proudest accomplishments was helping to create and lead a coalition of advocates who drafted and successfully advocated for new state laws preventing suspensions and expulsions of California students, prioritizing instead strategies to address underlying needs while keeping youth in school. Barrie has guest-lectured on non-profit management and advocacy topics at U.C. Berkeley and University of San Francisco, and is a recipient of The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Non-Profit Leadership Award. Barrie earned her B.A. at Yale University, her J.D. at University of California Hastings College of the Law, and her L.L.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University.
Becker notes that “innovative collaboration between child-serving agencies, community-based and governmental, leads to better outcomes for children and youth. Alameda County courts and agencies serving children, youth and families are often at the forefront of innovation, and I look forward to learning about how EBCLO can bring additional value to this rich mix of providers of critical supports and services for our most vulnerable young people.” Her commitment to advocacy for disadvantaged children and youth stems in part from her experience as a parent of two children who are now heading to college. “My kids had strong support, especially my son, who is legally blind; his educators, special education teachers, medical team, and community support system helped ensure that his disability didn’t limit his self-confidence and dreams for the future. Every child deserves such support, and EBCLO helps ensure that the children and youth of Alameda County get the love and support they need to thrive.”
Becker pledges to focus on continuing to grow, at EBCLO, a culture of trust and transparency, both internally and in partnership with external organizations. “The most valuable asset an organization has is the commitment of a talented team, and my job will be to help unlock the full potential of this already thriving team of professionals.” Siegel adds, “Ms. Becker is ideally suited to work with our extraordinary staff of committed attorneys, social workers and case managers to continue to do the important work they do every day to meet the needs of the children, youth and families we represent in Juvenile and Probate Court.”
The Board thanks Jacqueline Janssen and her staff at Janssen Non-Profit Recruiting for leading us to Ms. Becker.