Statement from Executive Director on the Passing of MaryLee Allen

June 20, 2019

MaryLee Allen, who for more than 40 years was a leader in advocacy for children’s welfare, health and safety with the Children’s Defense Fund, passed away on June 13, 2019. Allen joined CDF in 1974, the year after it was founded, where she worked on CDF’s first-ever policy report, Children Out of School in America. More recently, she worked to ensure the passage and effective implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act child welfare law.

“MaryLee was a child advocacy hero. In addition to her work for children, she was a modest leader who encouraged, supported and mentored countless others in the field. I was honored to serve with her on the Generations United Board and to know her passion and determination in service,” said Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, Executive Director of Child Care Aware of America.


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Lynette Fraga, Ph.D.

Written by Lynette Fraga, Ph.D.

Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), has been a passionate practitioner, advocate, and leader in the field of child care and early learning for more than 25 years. Dr. Fraga’s experience in Military Child Care, higher education, federal programs, and corporate and non-profit executive leadership distinguish her as a leader with subject matter expertise. Her experience working directly with children and families, educators, national leaders and federal officials positions Child Care Aware® of America to be the nation’s leading voice on child care in policy, practice and research.