Jeannette Pai-Espinosa

President, National Crittenton

Jeannette began her work advocating for issues of importance to young women and gender expansive young people in the mid 70’s and continues her passion for gender justice through her work at National Crittenton. A firm believer in the “nothing about us without us” practice she is dedicated to following the leadership of those most impacted by all forms of oppression and the intersections of them.

Jeannette leads National Crittenton a 137-year-old national advocacy organization, which is also the convener of the 25 members of the Crittenton family of agencies, providing services in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Crittenton has partners on the ground in nearly every state including Hawai’i and Alaska and various tribal nations. Her career spans more than forty years of work in advocacy, education, public policy, strategic communication, program development, and direct service delivery at the local, state and national levels.

Jeannette was the formerly the Director of the National Girls Initiative – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U. S. Department of Justice. Additionally, she was a member of: the Advisory Committee of Rights4Girls; the Advisory Committee for Women’s Services – SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Advisory Committee of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. Currently, she is a member of the Advisory Committee for the hope and grace fund of philosophy inc; a Steering Committee Member for the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and the National Black Women’s Justice Institute Trauma-Informed Learning Network for Girls of Color; and member of the Board of Directors of Rung for Women. She was also Chair of the National Foster Care Coalition for more than 8 years before its closure in 2017.

In 2013, Jeannette was recognized with the Robert F. Kennedy Embracing the Legacy award for her work supporting the self-empowerment of girls and young women in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Jeannette holds a master’s degree of education in student development theory, counseling and administration. She and her husband are the parents of four “grown” children ages 35–41.