As CEO of Public Allies, Jenise Terrell (she/her) brings over 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, community development, and leadership development. Jenise began her journey in leadership as a Public Allies AmeriCorps member herself in 1997. Throughout her more than 20-year history with Public Allies, Jenise has held several roles, including ally mentor and supervisor, field operations leader, fundraising strategist, government relations lead, executive vice president of program strategy, and most recently, interim CEO.
Jenise’s personal mission is to create a world where all young people have the opportunity to realize their full potential. She has worked to fulfill that vision by leveraging national service as a vehicle to create pathways to leadership for marginalized and disenfranchised voices across the US. Jenise played a central role in developing innovative Public Allies initiatives: DREAMCorps, the first national service program to engage DREAMers (young adults with deferred immigration status) in national service; a collaborative, multi-city venture with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to build career and education pathways for men of color, and a multi-city partnership with AARP designed to increase livable communities for multiple generations.
Jenise is a native Milwaukeean, a proud Public Allies Milwaukee alumna, a Marquette University alumna, and a working mother of two beautiful children. She is passionate about the history of Milwaukee’s Black community, speculative fiction, and the writing of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, N. K. Jemisin, and the legion of Black women who dare to tell the truth about our history and imagine a future where we all are free.