Jenny Ramo Visits as Guest Speaker

Evaluation Lab News

Posted: Nov 06, 2017 - 12:00am

Jenny Ramo, Executive Director of New Mexico Appleseed, presented to UNM's Policy Seminar class late last month. NM Appleseed is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that corrects structural barriers to opportunity by designing and advocating for effective solutions that reduce poverty.  Appleseed takes a broad approach to reform, and addresses issues from legislative, administrative, and market-based angles.

Among the organization’s successful initiatives are passage of the nation's first Breakfast After the Bell law, which allows students to eat a nutritious breakfast at the start of the school day, and the state’s adoption of the Keeping Families Together program, which seeks to provide a stable foundation for families that are both homeless and have lost or are at risk of losing their children to foster care.

Currently, Ms. Ramo is focused on creating support for an integrative data system in New Mexico that would facilitate data-driven policy innovation.  The proposed Child & Family Databank would be used to identify and mitigate risks to children’s welfare and healthy development. By linking and combining individual data records from different agencies (child welfare, criminal justice, health, SNAP, housing, education, etc.), analysts would be able to discern patterns and identify where to focus prevention resources.

After earning a bachelor's degree in anthropology, Ms. Ramo worked in the Clinton administration on the newly created AmeriCorps program. She then received a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs where she gained invaluable experience in public policy issues, leading her to Law School at Tulane University. When she moved back to Albuquerque in 2009, Ms. Ramo became the executive director at New Mexico Appleseed.