Denise Harlow, CCAP, is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Community Action Partnership, a national hub that links the nation’s 1,000+ Community Action Agencies to each another and to federal, state, and local leaders looking to connect Americans to greater opportunity. She was appointed the Partnership’s CEO in 2014 after serving as Senior Director of Training and Technical Assistance and Interim Chief Operating Officer. Working with Community Action Network partners, Denise was instrumental in the design and deployment of network-wide Organizational Standards and was a leader in the recent update to the Community Action performance management framework.
Prior to her tenure at the Partnership, she was the Chief Executive Officer for the New York State Community Action Association where she launched the Association’s annual Symposium on Poverty and Economic Opportunity and its annual Report on Poverty in New York State. She has also served as the Sr. Vice President for Capacity Building for the New York Council of Nonprofits where she was the project director for the New York State Board Training Consortium.
Denise has more than 28 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, has served on several nonprofit boards of directors, and was an appointee to the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council in New York State. She has extensive experience in board governance, strategic planning, public policy/advocacy, leadership development, and organizational development. She is a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP), a certified Results-Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Trainer, and a Pathways to Excellence Peer Reviewer.
She started her Community Action career as a social worker with the Schenectady Community Action Program. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University at Albany where she was also a Fellow on Women and Public Policy at the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University.