Jennifer Leshnower

Jennifer O. Leshnower

Bridging & Democracy Fellow

Jennifer O. Leshnower is a Bridging & Democracy Fellow with the Office Strategic Engagement at AmeriCorps. She brings expertise in program design, relationship management, project leadership, and community-based capacity building. With a strong commitment to social equity, justice, and economic mobility, Jen is dedicated to maximizing the potential of people and programs through storytelling, leadership investment, and mission-driven impact. 

Jennifer previously served as Special Advisor for Member Experience at California Volunteers in the Office of the Governor. In this role, she designed and led the inaugural cohort experience for 3,200 College Corps Fellows, fostering cross-organizational partnerships and implementing interventions that facilitated leadership development and personal growth through bridging, reflection, and professional networking. 

Prior to this, Jen held the position of Volunteer Director at California Volunteers, where she designed and implemented a community of practice for over 80 volunteer-based nonprofit organizations. She nurtured interagency and nonprofit partnerships to advance awareness, engagement, and goodwill, and played a crucial role in launching a robust volunteer program to support COVID-19 vaccination distribution, education, and outreach.

Jen enjoys working in entrepreneurial environments where a balance of creativity, innovation, and sustainability are hallmarks for impactful work. In a variety of US-based and international roles, Jen has provided strategic advice and direction to senior leadership on organizational and operational practices, training and coaching of lay and professional teams, cultivating donor relationships, and managing complex community-driven programs and infrastructure projects with a heavy focus on volunteerism and service. 

She is a proud Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Saint Lucia, Eastern Caribbean) and an AmeriCorps VISTA Alum (Newark, DE). Jen holds a dual Master of Social Work and Public Administration from Columbia University and an BA in Political Science from William Smith College. Jen sits on the Advisory Board of Jewtina, an organization supporting Latin-X Jews creating space and connection in and around these shared identities. 

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