Jennifer Axelrod

Policy Fellow

Jennifer Axelrod is a Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall. Her career is focused on improving outcomes for the highest risk youth through effective implementation of evidence-based youth development programs, social emotional learning, violence prevention, and intervention within a frame of well-being and normal childhood and adolescent development. Currently, she is working at the local, county, and national level to investigate and capture systems transformations intended to prevent and ameliorate toxic stress in families with infants and toddlers. Building on extensive experience in large public systems, she is working with federal, state, and local agency leadership to build cross-system, trauma-informed approaches to improving outcomes for children, youth, and families. In this work, she brings a lens toward organizational capacity building within both systems, most recently helping to develop an assessment tool that helps mitigate challenges when nonprofit organizations introduce evidence-based interventions.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall in the summer of 2014, Dr. Axelrod served as Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services at the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). In that role, she designed and supervised the implementation of the City’s youth services, including those aimed at reducing violent incidents involving youth and increasing youth engagement with schooling and workforce development programs. She also was responsible for facilitating and monitoring the implementation of City-funded afterschool programs, behavioral health services, and mentoring programs. Before joining the DFSS, Dr. Axelrod worked for Chicago Public Schools, where she oversaw the implementation of centrally funded afterschool programming, and helped lead implementation of evidence-based behavioral health strategies and practices and other school improvement initiatives.

Dr. Axelrod has a PhD in School Psychology from the University of Georgia, a Master’s of Education in School Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA from Williams College.

PhD in School Psychology, University of Georgia

Master’s of Education in School Psychology, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BA, Williams College.