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Crittenton Services of Greater Washington Welcomes Celeste James, Director of Community Health Initiatives at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, to its Board of Directors

Celeste James 2016 High TeaCeleste James speaking at Crittenton's 2016 Leadership ConferenceAfter a unanimous confirmation vote, Crittenton Services is excited to announce the election of Celeste James, Director of Community Health Initiatives at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States and LaTara Harris, Regional Director - External & Legislative Affairs, AT&T, as the newest members of our Board of Directors.

Celeste has been part of the Crittenton Community for nearly ten years. She has been an advisor and champion and has held various roles in our annual Anniversary Celebration and our teen-centered High Tea and Leadership Academy. She spent time learning our values and watching us engage with both our current participants and our alumnae.  While Crittenton works to increase our visibility in our region, having Celeste’s incredible marketing and media skills on our Board is welcomed and needed. “Celeste has been there for us, year in and year out. She brings so much to our team, across a spectrum of areas,” President and CEO Pamela Jones shared. “My challenge will be not to ask too much, too often, because she can help in many different ways.”

Celeste oversees Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit initiatives, grant-making, and policy advocacy to create conditions for health and wellbeing in under-resourced communities.  She has a particular focus on health at the intersection of place and race. Celeste has 20 years of experience in the media industry, as media relations manager for USA TODAY/Gannett Co., Inc., Communications Director for U.S. News & World Report magazine, and Vice President of Communications for NPR (National Public Radio). She co-leads the Prince George’s County Collaborative for Health Equity and the Washington Regional Food Funders, under Arabella Advisors.  She is serving her fourth year on the Board of Future Harvest CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture), a nonprofit membership organization that represents farmers, consumers, chefs, and food advocates throughout the Chesapeake region. 

She is married, with two children, ages 13 and 17, and lives in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Why were you inspired to join the Crittenton Board?

I have always loved the Crittenton mission to support girls and young women, to build their confidence, shift their perspective, and give them the tools to be as awesome as they can be!  I truly believe that when we strengthen girls, we strengthen families, and ultimately, communities.

What excites you most about being on the Board/part of the Crittenton Community?

I'm excited to meet and collaborate with the bright minds that lead this organization. Each of them is as passionate as I am about giving girls life opportunity. I’m really looking forward to innovating with all of the talented people on Crittenton’s Board and staff.

What's the one aspect of the Crittenton Program(s) you're really interested in learning more about in the coming months?  

I want to deepen my understanding of how girls are supported in the program and how they're introduced to and prepared for options post-high school.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Crittenton Services staff, welcome, Celeste and LaTara!