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December 07, 2021

Philadelphia OCF leader Cynthia Figueroa to leave city government role in January

The Deputy Mayor of the Office of Children and Families will lead nonprofit JEVS Human Services as its next CEO

Government Officials
City Hall Figueroa Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families Cynthia Figueroa is leaving her position in city government to join nonprofit organization JEVS Human Services as their new CEO, early next year.

Philadelphia's city government has lost an important leader, as Deputy Mayor of the Office of Children and Families Cynthia Figueroa announced she will stepping down from her position. Her new role will see her as the CEO of nonprofit JEVS Human Services. 

In a joint statement made by JEVS leadership and Mayor Kenney, the two parties expressed their gratitude for Figueroa's leadership and experience during her time at OCF. 

"I am grateful to Deputy Mayor Figueroa for her service to the city of Philadelphia and for the invaluable impact she's had in supporting our residents," Kenney said. 

The Mayor commended Figueroa's work that resulted in a long list of accomplishments for the city, including expanding the PHL pre-K program. Through funding provided by the so-called "soda tax," the city has guaranteed up to 4,000 annual seats in its quest to provide free early childhood education to residents. 

He added that under her, "family involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems decreased," and noted an increase in access to prevention services like IPS, which works with at-risk youth aged 10-19 and provides a safe space to keep eligible participants out of the juvenile justice system.  

Figueroa will succeed Jay Spector as JEVS Human Services' CEO, who is retiring after 46 years with the organization, 26 of which were spent in the top job. 

"Cynthia brings to JEVS a highly relevant background and well-earned reputation as a champion for the underserved," said Lisa Washington, Chair on the Board as JEVS. "I am exceptionally delighted that her personal journey—as a woman, a Latina leader, and a daughter of immigrants—will enable her to bring her perspectives to JEVS, as we serve a diverse clientele." 

JEVS Human Services was established in 1941 to serve Jewish refugees coming to Philadelphia. The organization quickly expanded to include people of all ethnicities and religions, and is now the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the Philadelphia region. 

Figueroa announced her departure from city government on Twitter, where she added that she is sad to leave her colleagues at OCF and the Mayor's Office. 

Figueroa's last day in her government position is Jan. 10, 2022. She will begin her work at JEVS on Feb. 7, where she will spend four months alongside Spector to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.