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Joyce Foundation Announces Updates to Program Staff


Election Reform Advocate Carrie Davis Joins Joyce Foundation as Democracy Program Director

Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Soledad Adrianzén McGrath also heads to Joyce as Senior Program Officer in Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program; Jason Quiara promoted to Senior Program Officer in Education & Economic Mobility Program

December 20, 2017 

CHICAGO - Ohio voting rights advocate Carrie Davis has been appointed by the Joyce Foundation as its new Democracy Program director, a position she assumes after five years as executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio and eight years as staff counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. The appointment is one of three announced today by the foundation.

Also joining Joyce is criminal justice reform advocate Soledad Adrianzén McGrath, named Senior Program Officer in the newly expanded Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform Program. McGrath comes to Joyce from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she is a program officer in the Justice Reform program.

And, Joyce announced the promotion of Jason Quiara to Senior Program Officer in the Education & Economic Mobility program, effective immediately.

Davis joins Joyce on January 2, while McGrath starts in mid-February.

“These are exciting times at Joyce as we embark on new strategic grant making priorities in 2018, and these three appointments will help us move decisively into our 2018-2020 program strategies” said Joyce President Ellen Alberding. “Carrie, Soledad, and Jason occupy important roles as we focus our philanthropy on preparing the next generation in the Great Lakes region to thrive in education, careers, and community.

Davis joins the Joyce Foundation with deep experience in voting rights as a tireless advocate for expanding and protecting citizen access in our democracy. With more than a decade of legal experience, including her time as staff counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Davis brings a wealth of litigation and public policy experience to the foundation.

“We are excited about the extensive knowledge and experience Carrie brings to Joyce in policy and litigation to protect and expand the rights of voters across the Great Lakes region said Alberding. “She assumes leadership of a newly revised Democracy Program focused on the critical issues of voting rights, redistricting reform and promoting a vibrant, independent media.”

Davis said she is excited to join the Joyce Foundation at this critical time for our democracy.

“There is so much important work to be done to protect voting rights and ensure free and fair elections. And in light of concerns about interference with elections, we need to find new ways to restore public confidence in election results and provide voters with the tools to discern what is reliable information,” said Davis.

McGrath is a member of a multidisciplinary team at the MacArthur Foundation that designed, implemented, and refined its criminal justice reform strategy – a $100 million initiative focusing on a network of 40 jurisdictions targeting excessive and unjust incarceration at the local level. She also leads the foundation’s efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.

“Soledad has extensive experience working on justice reform, which will be vital as we expand our work in gun violence prevention to include police accountability reforms and reducing incarceration of young offenders -- issues deeply linked to urban gun violence,” said Alberding. “She has a reputation for being both highly collaborative and very effective, and we are delighted she is joining the team.”

Quiara is managing a multi-state initiative aimed at refining policies and systems to ensure K-12 students build early college and career momentum for success in postsecondary education and the workplace. The Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Initiative provides technical support to school districts as they partner with postsecondary institutions and employers in Madison, WI, Columbus, OH, Rockford, IL, and two high school districts in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

“Jason has demonstrated thoughtful leadership in helping to create and guide the Great Lakes pathways program, a major Joyce grant-making initiative being watched closely by educators and employers around the country as they, too, explore the pathways model. We are pleased to recognize Jason’s work with this promotion,” said Alberding.

Additional Biographical Notes

Carrie Davis
Davis holds a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s in Philosophy and Public Policy from Albion College. Before becoming executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Davis worked for eight years as staff counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. Her portfolio included voting rights, free speech, criminal justice, racial justice and government accountability. Davis also spent time in Washington, D.C. where she participated in the Women in Public Policy Internship Program through the Washington Center and served as an aide to then Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow. A native of Cleveland, Davis is proud to continue her work in the Great Lakes region. In addition to her work on democracy issues, Davis is passionate about LGBT rights, reproductive rights, and a more equitable society. Davis has led a variety of successful advocacy campaigns at the state and local level and has been on the steering committee for the State Voices table in Ohio.

Soledad McGrath
Prior to joining the MacArthur Foundation, McGrath served as associate director and chief counsel at the American Bar Association’s Justice Center, where she worked on issues affecting the judiciary. Prior to joining the ABA, she served as the post-graduate ChildLaw policy fellow at Loyola University School of Law’s Civitas ChildLaw Center, where she focused on teaching and policy development in child welfare, juvenile justice, and family law. As an attorney in private practice in Atlanta, she was the primary reporter for the State Bar of Georgia/Young Lawyers Division on the Juvenile Code Revision Project. McGrath earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University in Comparative Literary Studies and Latin American Studies, and her law degree from Emory University.

Jason Quiara
Before coming to Joyce, Jason worked at Jobs for the Future in Boston, where he was responsible for state policy strategy and national advocacy activities to support the expansion of early college pathways that integrate high school and postsecondary education experiences. Jason previously had served as director of state policy research for the New England Board of Higher Education, where he directed College Ready New England, an initiative to promote policies to improve high school graduation rates and postsecondary outcomes for low-income and minority students. Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy at Boston College, and a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.