Remembering MaryLee Allen

June 25, 2019 | New York

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the June 13, 2019 passing of MaryLee Allen, an extraordinary woman who spearheaded policy efforts of the Children’s Defense Fund for more than forty years. For those of us who had the privilege of working with MaryLee, we remember her as a nationally renowned expert in child welfare and other policy areas critical to ensuring the well-being of children, including health and poverty.  We remember her as a tireless, tenacious and effective advocate, well-respected across coalitions and within the halls of Congress. But more than that, we remember her as someone who was unconditionally kind to anyone with whom she had contact; someone who listened intently and spoke softly, thoughtfully and patiently offering advice, guidance or encouragement to those in need. MaryLee’s generous spirit touched not just our lives, but those of hundreds of interns she mentored over the years and an equal number of young and seasoned professionals she met throughout her career.  She will be missed more than words can express, but we find comfort in knowing that she leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments that improved the lives of millions of children and a cadre of child advocates she nurtured over the years to carry on the work.