Nonprofit leader brings professional and personal criminal legal reform expertise
to the global support center in service to opportunity youth around the world
YouthBuild USA has announced the appointment of Jonathan Stenger as its new Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, he will lead implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and further its efforts to become a world-class support center for its network of more than 275 local YouthBuild programs around the globe.
Stenger joins the leadership team at this global nonprofit that champions opportunity youth — young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor employed — as they earn the knowledge, training and opportunities that lead to long-term professional and personal success. He will oversee the organization’s Alumni Services, Data Services, Digital Information Systems, and Marketing and Communications departments, moving major YouthBuild USA strategic projects forward.
“We are overjoyed to welcome Jonathan to the YouthBuild USA team,” said John Valverde, president and CEO of YouthBuild USA. “His focus on excellence, process improvement, and impact will accelerate our support of local programs on the ground. His lived experience, and his commitment to social justice, will help us reach the next level in our shared vision of health, equity, and hope for opportunity youth. I can’t wait to see Jonathan make his mark.”
Stenger brings more than twenty years of not-for-profit organizational experience in strategic planning, editorial and publishing, public affairs, and government relations to YouthBuild USA. He most recently used his lived experience as a formerly incarcerated individual at the Osborne Association — a Bronx, New York-based criminal justice reform and direct service organization that weaves policy advocacy, direct services, and leadership development to serve and strengthen individuals, families, and communities affected by the criminal legal system – as their first vice president for external affairs, then senior policy strategy advisor. He has been a consultant, advisor, volunteer, and board member at more than a dozen social justice-focused organizations and currently serves on the board of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.
“I am honored to join the remarkable team at YouthBuild USA and become part of a movement that centers love and inclusivity in its work championing young people,” said Stenger. “My personal experience in prisons and jails allowed me to see, first-hand, how those most affected by the juvenile and criminal legal systems are steered away from resources that could make a transformational difference in their lives. With humility and empathy, I join my YouthBuild USA colleagues in impactful servant leadership on behalf of opportunity youth, so many of whom share this experience. I look forward to advancing my commitment to continuous improvement — both personally, and for the systems around me.”
In YouthBuild programs, opportunity youth pursue their education, prepare for future careers, and grow into community leaders, building brighter futures for themselves and their neighborhoods. With love and respect, YouthBuild partners with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood and leadership. Responding to the urgent need for knowledge, training and opportunity, YouthBuild primarily serves young people who lack a high school diploma and financial resources.
YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for a global network of more than 275 local YouthBuild programs in 18 countries, with 220 programs in 46 U.S. states and territories and 56 programs in 17 other countries.
Stenger received his master’s degree in politics and constitutional law from The New School for Social Research and a bachelor’s degree in politics and legal studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.