Lorelei Atalie Vargas serves as chief community impact officer at Trinity Church Wall Street, which has been a part of New York City history for over 300 years. Trinity has evolved into a global institution leading advocacy around social and racial justice; partnering with nonprofits; offering grants to support mission aligned programs; and, having developed high quality music, educational and social programming. Prior to her current appointment, Lorelei served as deputy commissioner for child and family well-being with the City of New York’s Administration for Children’s Services where she was responsible for administering the agency’s first division dedicated to using a two generation approach to strengthen programs, leverage existing resources and build on the assets that are inherent in the children and families of New York City. Lorelei also ran the country’s largest publicly-funded subsidized early care and education system, serving the needs of close to 110,000 children with a budget of over $1 billion annually, where she successfully led reforms, including expanding access, implementing a trauma informed care model across the system, and developing two-generation programs. Lorelei has over two decades of executive-level experience in the non-profit sector with a strong focus on creating community-level opportunities and helping to strengthen the lives of children and families. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish, Lorelei earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and holds two Master’s degrees, one in Public Policy and one in Education Administration and Policy, both from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

My Truth

Building on the success of two-generation initiatives focused on early care and education, the launch of CFWB will position ACS as being the first child welfare agency in the nation that has invested in primary preventive services for children and families. Charged with leading this effort, I envision developing a trauma-free New York City. A city where regardless of what zip code you’re born in, your religion, color of your skin or socioeconomic status, children and families will have the opportunity to thrive. I envision building protective factors among children, families, and communities, with the goal of minimizing high ACE scores and mitigating toxic stressors for parents, leading ultimately to child and family well-being.

Stories featuring Lorelei Vargas

The Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community Phase II sought to find and foster the most effective and innovative strategies to accelerate social and economic mobility for working families with low incomes. To do so, we elevated the voices and expertise of families with lived experience, were guided by 14 advisors, and we brought together 20 …

Innovations Abound to Advance Family Prosperity Read More »

Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityMay 3, 2023
We are pleased to share Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s newest report – Reimagining Child Welfare and Realizing a Networked Approach to Family Well-Being. Tapping the expertise and experience of families, Ascend Fellows, and the Ascend Network, this report is the result of our effort that began in 2020 to interrogate the systems, practices, and policies that …

New Report: Reimagining Child Welfare Read More »

PublicationApril 10, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has made more evident than ever the need to transform policies, practice, and systems to build upon the inherent resilience of families – especially those with low incomes and from BIPOC communities. In 2018 – 677,529 children experienced maltreatment in the US. 51 percent of those children were Black, Indigenous, or children …

Investing in Futures Means Investing in Families: Announcing the Two-Generation Prenatal to Three Learning and Action Community Read More »

BlogDecember 9, 2020
Physical and mental health and well-being are core components of the two-generation approach that builds family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives to move whole families toward educational success, economic security, and health and well-being. Childhood trauma, for instance, has lasting health and social consequences. Similarly, economic …

Transforming Child and Family Mental Health in Washington, DC Read More »

BlogJuly 22, 2020
Smiling Family With Parents Giving Children Piggyback Rides In Garden At Home
Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org  Bold Leaders to Advance Innovative Strategies for Families’ Health and Economic Prosperity  Aspen Institute Launches New Partners and Advisors in Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community  Washington, DC – Ascend at the Aspen Institute is proud to announce the new partners and advisors the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community, Ascend’s initiative for breakthrough innovations and collaborations that position families to reach educational …

Bold Leaders to Advance Innovative Strategies for Families’ Health and Economic Prosperity Read More »

BlogJuly 22, 2020
Black Lives Matter. As a collective of leaders committed to advancing two-generation strategies to end multigenerational poverty, we believe that the only path to that outcome is through a reckoning with our past and present, and a fundamental shift in our institutions. This requires a new social contract to remedy the harms of White supremacy –a …

Undo A System of White Supremacy: The Call for a New Social Contract Read More »

BlogJune 29, 2020
Kwame AnkuChairman and CEOBlack Star Fund Sacramento, CAMy Vision – The problem I am focusing on solving is breaking the economic disparity cycle afflicting people of the African diaspora. I call my bold vision 100X100. It is a vision of 100 Black investment managers who will each manage $100M innovation funds by 2025. I believe we …

2018 Ascend Fellow Action Plans Read More »

Ascend FellowshipJune 19, 2019
2018 Ascend Fellows
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute Tel: 202.721.5596 Lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Diverse Leaders Selected for Their Groundbreaking Work Advancing Opportunity for Children and Families With Low Incomes Washington, DC, September 6, 2018 – The Aspen Institute announced today the 2018 class of Aspen …

Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Read More »

Press ReleasesSeptember 6, 2018

Convenings Featuring Lorelei Vargas

Location: Aspen Meadows, 845 Meadows Rd, Aspen, CO 81611
At Aspen VisionXChange, we aimed to:...
ConveningJuly 31, 2023
– August 1, 2023
Location: Aspen, CO (in-person) & Live Webcast (virtual)
Mental health is on our minds and our lips, not hiding in the shadows, and we’re doing something to boost it. Hear from leaders who are making strong mental health a way of life – in state systems, in communities, and in our public spaces –...
ConveningJuly 31, 2023
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
The past decade has seen remarkable progress and momentum in the modern day two-generation (2Gen) movement. 2Gen programs at the local, state, and federal level, well-informed by those most impacted and rooted in the community, are improving family...
ConveningJune 7, 2021