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Covenant House New York Welcomes Julie Farber as our New Executive Director

Julie Farber, Executive Director, Covenant House New York

The Covenant House New York Board of Directors is pleased to announce Julie Farber as the new Executive Director of Covenant House New York (CHNY). CHNY is the city’s largest provider serving youth experiencing homelessness, reaching over 1,500 every year 24/7 with affirming and transformative services so each young person can create their own path to independence.  Julie will succeed Sister Nancy Downing, who is retiring after 15 years of service, including the last seven years as Executive Director.  

“I am proud and honored to bring my passion and experience supporting young people to Covenant House,” said Julie. “I look forward to collaborating with our partners across New York City that share the vision of a city where no young person is unhoused.  CHNY has a beautiful new facility in Manhattan with all the resources young people need, and I have already been so impressed with the dedication of our staff volunteers and community partners. We have a lot of work to do, and I look forward to advancing our work to improve opportunities for young people.”

Most recently, Julie spent the past seven years as the Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), where she oversaw the foster care system, managing a $25M annual budget and 300 staff at ACS, and overseeing 26 nonprofit agencies with $500 million in annual contracts. Under Julie’s leadership, ACS reduced the number of children in foster care, reduced length of stay in care, increased foster home recruitment, significantly expanded education and employment services for youth, and increased supports for parents and families.  Julie also implemented key strategies to improve race equity outcomes, including significantly increasing kinship care and launching an initiative in which parent advocates with lived experience of the child welfare system provide support for parents of children in foster care.  

“Covenant House New York provides a safe place and critical services for young people facing the crisis and trauma of homelessness.  We are grateful to Sister Nancy Downing for her leadership and commitment,” said Louis Rauchenberger, Chairman of the Board of Covenant House New York.  “The Board is thrilled to have Julie join CHNY, with her incredible mission-driven leadership experience in the nonprofit sector and government, dedicated to serving vulnerable youth.” 

Prior to her leadership role at ACS, Julie held senior leadership positions at two very large, multi-site direct service nonprofits providing a range of services for children, youth, adults and families.  Julie also brings significant experience in advocacy, having served as the Director of Policy at the national child welfare advocacy organization Children’s Rights, and through work early in her career at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.  Julie is a graduate of Duke University, earned an M.S.W. from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and completed the Coro New York mid-career fellowship program.  

“It has been a privilege leading CHNY and I am very pleased to hand the baton over to Julie.  In our collaborative work with agencies around New York City, I have had the privilege of seeing Julie’s impact up close and I know she will bring incredible expertise and insights to Covenant House New York,” says Sister Nancy Downing.

“We are grateful to Sister Nancy Downing, who led Covenant House New York with a consistent focus on bettering the lives of thousands of young people,” said Kevin Ryan, CEO of Covenant House International.  “Julie is the right person to build upon CHNY’s success and take it to the next level, continuing to transform the lives of youth facing homelessness.”