Chidi Jenkins

Senior Officer for Leadership and Public Policy

Chidi Jenkins, senior officer for leadership and public policy, supports the Ascend Fellowship, a values-based leadership program for diverse leaders working in and across sectors to advance the health, well-being, and prosperity of children and families. Drawing on experience in public health, education, and public safety, Chidi provides strategic support and technical assistance for Fellows’ policy planning and action, and cross-cohort collaborations.

Prior to joining Ascend in 2022, Chidi was appointed as Advisor on Childhood Trauma and Resiliency to former Governor Ralph S. Northam of Virginia. Chidi recognized the power of connecting and convening individuals with lived experience, diverse stakeholders from the field and in community, and state leaders. In doing so, she was able to drive meaningful and sustainable trauma-informed policy and practice change in the Commonwealth thereby improving the resilience of children, families, and communities.

A first-generation Nigerian-American, Chidi was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Language & Literature and a Masters of Teaching. In her free time, Chidi – a former elementary school teacher – enjoys volunteering in classrooms, tending to her pollinator and vegetable gardens, and antiquing. She resides with her family in Richmond, Virginia.

Favorite Part of my Role

I regularly pinch myself because I get to be in community with and pour into some of our country’s most visionary leaders who are working tirelessly to ensure all children and families can thrive.

Stories featuring Chidi Jenkins

Text over a landscape of South Africa
Tiana C. McCoy – Senior Associate, Operations and Convenings at Ascend – provides an inside look at the experience of a Fellows Forum.
BlogMay 2, 2023