Jennifer Blatz is the president and CEO of StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working in almost 70 communities across the United States to enable over 14 million young people to succeed in school and life.
Jennifer is a nationally recognized leader and expert in building place-based partnerships. For two decades, she has designed, developed and implemented strategies that drive large-scale community improvement through partnership with local leaders and organizations. She is driven by a life-long passion for social change to improve outcomes for every child, regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code, or circumstance.
Prior to taking the helm of StriveTogether, Jennifer served in leadership roles, including Deputy Director and the Senior Director of Operations. She was instrumental in launching the national Cradle to Career Network and creating the StriveTogether Theory of Action™. She also developed a bold plan for 24 communities across the country to reach systems-level transformation by 2023. This led to major investments in StriveTogether and its Cradle to Career Network, including oversight of a $60 million fund for place-based work.
Before leading StriveTogether, Jennifer was a founding member of StrivePartnership, serving Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Through her contributions, StrivePartnership became one of the most notable collective impact initiatives in the country. Its success led to the creation of StriveTogether to replicate its achievements across the entire country.
Jennifer began her career in the education sector. As executive director of Ohio College Access Network, she led a network of community-based programs focused on improving access to and attainment of postsecondary education. The success of Ohio’s state network inspired and informed the work of the National College Access Network. Prior to this, Jennifer served as a program officer for College & Career Access at KnowledgeWorks, where she managed initiatives to increase the number of high school graduates who complete college or attain other career credentials.
Jennifer serves as a PolicyLink Ambassador for Health Equity and as a LEAP Ambassador, where she collaborates with national leaders to improve existing programs and find new ways to tackle challenges facing children and families. She also serves on the board of Raising A Reader, is a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier Leadership Trust and was invited to help launch the Weave Movement at the Aspen Institute.
Jennifer has been named a YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Rising Star and a Cincinnati Business Courier Forty Under 40. She is a graduate of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Volunteer Leadership Development Program, the Billions Institute Skid Row School for Large-Scale Change and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Women Excel Leadership Program.
She earned a master’s degree from Miami University and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Kentucky. Jennifer lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and three children.