Twitter: vakids

Staff

Rachael DeaneRachael Deane, Chief Executive Officer

Rachael Deane is the Chief Executive Officer at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She provides overall strategic and operational leadership for Voices’ staff, programs, and execution of its mission.   

Rachael’s career has been dedicated to legal and policy advocacy for racial equity and economic justice at the local, state, and national levels. She joined Voices after many years as a legal aid attorney and as Legal Director of the Youth Justice Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center, where she led policy campaigns to end Virginia’s school-to-prison pipeline and to fund student mental health supports in public education. Prior to her career in children’s law and policy, Rachael led statewide and national investigations into housing and lending discrimination as an advocate with Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc., and the National Fair Housing Alliance. 

Rachael was named a 2021 “Leader in the Law” by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington and earned her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law. 

Rachael can be reached at rachael@vakids.org.


Emily Griffey, Chief Policy Officer

Emily Griffey is the Chief Policy Officer at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She is the key contact for government relations and policy analysis for issues that impact the health and well-being of Virginia’s Children. Emily provides expertise in child care and early learning issues and brings additional experience and background on the many issues she has worked on during her eight years with Voices.

Emily has been an advocate for the expansion of preschool opportunities, equitable access to safe and affordable child care, and family economic supports. Notably, Emily has paved the way for engagement with candidates running for office through the organization’s electoral advocacy and gubernatorial forums as well as ensuring that children are a priority once officials take office, such as her involvement with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and many stakeholder committees. Additionally, Emily enjoys hearing the perspectives of parents and front-line professionals to help shape Voices’ policy agenda and highlight priority issues.

Emily comes to Voices with experience in working on early childhood issues at a local and regional level for Greater Richmond’s Smart Beginnings, Richmond City Social Services, and Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign. Emily is a graduate of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond and earned her master’s degree in public policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Emily can be reached at emily@vakids.org.


Allison GilbreathAllison GilbreathPolicy and Programs Director

Allison Gilbreath is the Policy and Programs Director at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She leads the organization’s child welfare policy work as well as the implementation of advocacy programs, elevating policy conversations across all policy areas.

Allison created Voices’ foster care policy network, a group comprised of partners, direct service providers, families, and youth who create a foster care unified agenda each year. She also helped to create the first-ever bi-partisan foster care caucus with the Virginia General Assembly. Together, with the network and foster care caucus, she successfully led the charge in creating the kinship financial assistance program during the 2020 General Assembly session.

Allison came to Voices after several years of working on behalf of children and families, most recently at Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. She was included on Style Weekly’s 40 under 40 in 2019 and has presented at several national and state conferences.

She earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership in 2016. She is the board president of Collective 365, an organization founded to support Black and Brown communities through philanthropic giving and capacity building.

Alison can be reached at allison@vakids.org.


Megan Mbagwu, Operations Manager

Megan Mbagwu is the Operations Manager at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She is responsible for assisting in all administrative functions and providing leadership in organizational culture development and implementation.

Megan spent 10 years working in South Africa as both a direct service provider and a nonprofit leader with an organization focused on providing care to children affected by the HIV pandemic. Most recently, she worked at Family Lifeline as an Administrative Coordinator where she established organizational processes and procedures to ensure smooth operations throughout the organization and focused on creating a more inclusive, equitable and trauma-informed culture internally.

Megan has an Associate’s Degree from John Tyler in Business Administration and is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Megan can be reached at megan@vakids.org.


Kristin Lennox, Advocacy and Engagement Manager

Kristin Lennox is the Advocacy and Engagement Manager at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She is responsible for identifying advocacy opportunities, developing traditional, digital, and grassroots engagement and advocacy strategies, and mobilizing advocates to support policy priorities.

Kristin’s most recent experiences are as a direct practitioner with children, youth, and families while serving as a Program Supervisor at ChildSavers. Kristin has 5+ years experience providing community-based mental health services, predominantly responding to crises or traumatic events. Kristin also managed efforts in community engagement and outreach through public speaking and interview opportunities. She has delivered global workshops and trainings on themes of trauma-informed care, healing centered engagement, and de-escalation. Kristin is passionate about increasing parity in community resources and mental health access for youth and families in Virginia. She believes in a responsible, person-centered approach to community engagement.

Kristin earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Adjunct Instructor with VCU’s School of Social Work.

Kristin can be reached at kristin@vakids.org.


photo of Zoe ThomasZoe Thomas, Development Manager

Zoe Thomas is the Development Manager at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She works with the Chief Philanthropy Officer to build strong fundraising relationships with individuals, corporations, foundations, and granting organizations. She is excited to find opportunities for stakeholders to support Voices work in a meaningful way.

Zoe has spent much of her life in the non-profit performing arts world, from community theatre to regional theatre festivals. She has worked in front of house, box office, event planning, and fund management. Zoe was most recently the Donor Relations Coordinator at the Richmond Symphony where she used her passion for donor-centered fundraising to drive individual giving and assist with concerts and special events. While at the Symphony, Zoe also created and produced the Symphony’s first ever podcast, “Can Someone Give Me an A?!” 

Zoe holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College. She is a cat mom to Rowan and Aspen and enjoys nothing more than a nice long walk while listening to one of the 17 sociology podcasts she is currently following.

Zoe can be reached at zoe@vakids.org.


Emily Moore headshot

Emily Moore, Policy Analyst

Emily Moore is the Policy Analyst at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She leads policy and advocacy work in domains related to Social Determinants of Health, with a focus on healthcare, family economic security, trauma-informed care, and equity.

Emily comes to Voices with seven years of experience serving Virginia’s children and families. She began her career as a domestic violence advocate, and then transitioned into the role of family services specialist in child welfare. Most recently, Emily worked as regional recruiter and legislative advocacy chair for DePaul Community Resources, where she was responsible for building coalitions and community partnerships to advocate for policies that better support the needs of children, families, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Emily is passionate about disrupting the status quo and transforming systems and policies to promote equitable outcomes for all people.

Emily graduated magna cum laude from the University of Lynchburg with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Leadership from the Batten Leadership Institute at Hollins University.

Emily can be reached at emoore@vakids.org.