Laura Nissen to Depart Reclaiming Futures

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Reclaiming Futures project is beginning to transition from the relatively secure world of foundation funding to the more arduous task of seeking multiple sources of support, but will have to find its way without the stewardship of longtime national program director Laura Nissen.

Nissen announced on June 7 that she plans to step down in May 2011 once a successor is in place, citing a desire to “concentrate on teaching and research in my role as a faculty member at the School of Social Work at Portland State University.”

The good news is that Reclaiming Futures is fully funded through December 2013, so there will be ample time for an orderly transition. Moreover, Nissen will continue to consult with the group.

“I am so proud of all we’ve accomplished together to date. It has been among the great honors and adventures of my life to get to know and work with so many fine professionals across the country who are dedicated to the lives of teens in the justice system who have drug and alcohol problems,” wrote Nissen. “Because thousands of young people and their families still need better services all over our country, I look forward to helping them in a new capacity — and seeing how Reclaiming Futures continues to develop and grow.”

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