World Childhood Foundation USA (“Childhood USA”) announced that Rutgers School of Social Work MSW student Nicole Epps has been named as Executive Director, effective January 1, 2021. In this new role, Epps will succeed current Childhood USA President and CEO, Dr. Joanna Rubinstein who is stepping down at the end of this year. Epps has been working as Childhood’s Managing Director of Programs and Policy since 2015 toward the organization’s mission to end sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence against children.
An industry champion for the protection of children, before joining Childhood USA, Epps had been a non-profit leader in the anti-trafficking and street affected, vulnerable youth population, both domestically and internationally. Epps previously held industry leadership roles as Associate Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Morris and Sussex Counties in New Jersey, and with Safe Horizon, the largest victim services organization in New York. Epps also led the U.S. office of the anti-trafficking organization, Apne Aap.
“It is an honor to become Executive Director of Childhood USA. During my five years at Childhood, and under Joanna’s leadership, we have moved from a small grant-making foundation to a global thought leader, including through support for two pioneering global initiatives: the Economist Intelligence Unit Index on response to child sexual abuse and the UN Broadband Commission’s report with actionable recommendations on Child Online Safety. I look forward to continuing Childhood USA’s high-level global policy work, while engaging in direct impact on the ground with a focus on developing innovative, culturally competent, grass-roots programs,” said Epps.
“Now more than ever, the work of Childhood USA is needed with the continued inequities in the USA and the added stressor of the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Epps. “Our children are even more vulnerable to their abusers in both real life and the digital space. We have both a responsibility and obligation to ensure that our most vulnerable children have access to evidence-based resources and tools that can keep them safe and this will continue to be a priority at Childhood, as the pandemic continues.”
In addition to her leadership roles with Childhood USA, and in recognition of her national work, earlier this month Epps was elected as the next Vice President and Policy Co-Chair of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. She was also appointed to the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and chairs the Community Outreach and Engagement committee. Epps is a member of APSAC's Public Policy Committee, as well as RAINN's National Leadership Council, among other key industry leadership and advisory roles. Epps is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned her B.A. in Political Science and International Relations.She received her MBA in Management and Marketing from the University of Georgia, Terry School of Business. She studied International Law, Economics and Organization at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is pursuing her MSW at Rutgers University School of Social Work.