Joan Wallace-Benjamin joined The Home for Little Wanderers in 2003 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Under her guidance, the agency has gained prominence in the field of child and family service providers, becoming a leader in innovative programming for underserved populations and expanding its role of advocacy for all children.
Previously, Joan was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts for 11 years and immediately prior to joining The Home, she served as a Consultant with Whitehead Mann, a global executive recruiting firm. She has also served as Director of Operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; Deputy Director of ABCD Head Start, and a Research Analyst for ABT Associates. Joan took a short detour from The Home in 2007 when she answered Governor-Elect Deval Patrick's call to serve as Chief of Staff on his transition team and in the first months of office. Joan has brought to all of her positions a remarkable array of skills and energy that have empowered and inspired the organizations to fulfill their missions of service, research and advocacy.
Joan has received awards too numerous to list in full, but a sampling includes being named one of Boston magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women, February 2011; the Henry L. Shattuck Public Service City Champion Award, October 2010; Urban League Civil Rights Award, April 2007; Pinnacle Award, Achievement in Management Non-Profit from the Boston Chamber of Commerce, January 2005. Joan holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1993), Newbury College, Chestnut Hill, MA (2005), and Curry College, Milton, MA (2009) and Bridgewater State University (in May 2011) and New England Law, Boston (May, 2013).
Joan serves on the Board of Directors of Bridgewater State University and was appointed by Governor Patrick to co chair the Families and Children Requiring Assistance Advisory Board. Joan is a former Trustee of Wellesley College and member of the Board of Overseers for The Heller School for Social Policy & Management. Additionally, she has been a Corporation Member of Northeastern University and a Trustee of Pine Manor College. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Psychology and received her Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Speaking Topics Include:
- Leadership and career development
- Children and Families
- Child welfare
- Children’s mental health
- Transition-aged youth
- Parenting in the 21st century (all families)
- Raising Black children
- Non-profit board governance
- Non-profit organizational management
- Education and Student Achievement
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Past Speaking Engagements Include :
- Women in Development: Celebrating a Quarter Century - Keynote Speaker (2005)
- Boston University School of Social Work Commencement Speaker (2007)
- Winsor High School - "The Civil Rights Movement: Passing the Torch" - Keynote Speaker (2008)
- Heller School for Social Policy and Management - Open Forum on Youth Aging out of DCF Care (2008)
- Curry College, Milton, MA Commencement Specker (2009)
- Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA Commencement Speaker (2011)
- Boston College - "Finding Common Ground: Foster Care, Adoption, and Permanency for Children" (2012)