Dr. Tracy Nájera is the Vice President of U.S. Programs for UNICEF USA.In this role she oversees a critical strategic priority of UNICEF USA to improve the well-being of vulnerable children in the US. The VP directs the design, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive domestic program that works through partnerships with governments, civil society, youth, volunteers, and others to strengthen child-respecting policies, programs, and practices at the local, state and federal levels.
She most recently served as the State Director of Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, part of a national non-profit child advocacy and civil rights organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 50 years in Ohio to ensure a level playing field for all children through its use of data, research, public policy, and advocacy.
Dr. Najera’s experience spans research, program management and implementation, and public policy. For most of her career, Tracy has worked in education policy, tackling issues such as school funding, professional learning, human capital in education – such as teacher recruitment and retention, and the impacts of quality school facilities on learning. Her career path is marked with experiences in the non-profit sector, with Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio and Battelle for Kids, in state government with Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management where she worked for three governors, and for profit consulting with Education First. She believes that policy, funding, and thoughtful program implementation must be centered on children and the experiences and needs of families and local communities, where they are engaged and lead the change.
Tracy earned her B.A. in political science and international studies, MPA, and PhD in education policy and leadership from the Ohio State University. Tracy and her partner are the proud parents of teenage children and live in Columbus, Ohio
This commentary is intended as an addendum and recent update to the original research article published in World Affairs, “The High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Unusual Institutional Arrangement of a Non-Authoritarian, yet Controlled, Democracy”