Wendy Lazarus is founder of and senior advisor to The Children’s Partnership, a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to advance the interests of America’s children and families—especially those at risk of being left behind. Its primary mission is to ensure that all children have the resources and the opportunities they need to grow up healthy and to lead productive lives.
Ms. Lazarus is a leading advocate and policy expert on a wide range of children’s issues, having spent more than 35 years working on the front lines for children throughout the nation. Her distinguished career includes serving as the Children’s Defense Fund’s first director of health, as founding vice-president for policy for Children Now, and as a consultant to the Conrad Hilton and Piton Foundations. Throughout the years, she has helped secure improved health care, child support, access to information technologies and other vital resources for hundreds of thousands of children and families.
Under her leadership at The Children’s Partnership, children and the use of digital opportunity is now a forefront policy issue in the United States. Ms. Lazarus helped secure first-in-the-nation technology policy gains in California and has directed the development of an online technology policy resource used across the country and internationally. She has accomplished pioneering work on the content dimension of the digital divide, having co-authored the first comprehensive report on Internet content from the standpoint of the needs of underserved Americans. The Children’s Partnership has also developed a portal to help low-income and underserved communities use and create online content and has produced a widely used Parent’s Guide to the Internet.
In addition, Ms. Lazarus works continuously to ensure that every child in America has access to quality health care and has led a number of health reform efforts, including major improvements in the federal Medicaid program for children. Her organization is currently helping advance The 100% Campaign, a California-based effort to provide health coverage to every child. With Ms. Lazarus’s leadership, The Children’s Partnership has also spearheaded the creation and roll-out of Express Lane Eligibility, pioneering to use technology to expedite enrollment in public health insurance programs for hundreds of thousands of uninsured children through other public programs in which they are already enrolled. Ms. Lazarus has also helped define the next frontier in health care for children—the deployment of new technologies such as telemedicine to improve children’s health.
Ms. Lazarus has authored more than 50 reports and articles on a wide range of topics affecting children, and has traveled the world to make presentations regarding emerging children’s issues. She is frequently turned to as an expert and strategist by policy-makers, advocates, grant-makers and the media. She has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets including: ABC World News Tonight, Tavis Smiley Show, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, The Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, Chronicle of Philanthropy, CNET.
Ms. Lazarus serves as a board member or advisor to a number of national, state and community-based organizations and companies. She served as a consultant to the Congressionally-established Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Piton Foundation. More recently she served on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Broadband Task Force, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Educational Technology Task Force, and on multiple boards, including Social Interest Solutions and Connected Nation. Currently, she serves on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Advisory Council. She also developed and taught a graduate-level course in child advocacy at UCLA.
Ms. Lazarus graduated from Yale University in Yale’s first class of women graduates, and received her Master’s degree in Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. She lives in California with her husband and has two adult children.