Welcoming the Next Generation of PolicyLink Executive Leadership

After serving five years as inaugural Chief Operating Officer (COO), I’m honored to pass the COO baton to Josephine Wong, while I assume the new role of Chief Advancement and Special Initiatives Officer, where I will oversee our development department and build new initiatives with our leadership team. I couldn’t be more thrilled about my next chapter and this moment for PolicyLink, as we build an enduring institution to win on equity and ensure all people in America — particularly those who face the barriers of structural racism — participate in a flourishing multiracial democracy, prosper in an equitable economy, and live in thriving communities of opportunity.

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to be a 20+ year student of the PolicyLink greats — Angela Glover Blackwell, Michael McAfee, Joe Brooks, Judith Bell, Victor Rubin, and so many more — playing a part in building a Black-founded-and-led institution that has advanced racial and economic equity nationwide. Working, and truly, growing up, alongside many generations of incredible PolicyLink leaders also taught me that transitions are an essential part of making enduring and dynamic institutions. I’ve learned that reaching a peak shouldn’t be the catalyst for a transition, instead we should transition while on the rise, so we can leave the gift of the rise to the next leader. That is why now is the ideal moment to open space for a new leader to take PolicyLink’s operations to the next level.

That leader is Josephine Wong,
PolicyLink’s new Chief Operating Officer. 


Josephine joins us with a remarkable career of over two decades spanning county and city government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently, she served as the Chief Financial Operating Officer at the Seattle Foundation — overseeing $1.2B in assets — where she supervised investments management, finance and administration, information technology, and human capital to achieve transformative growth and increase community impact. Josephine is also a Children and Family Fellow with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. When she is not deep in operations work, you’ll find her planning her next travel adventure, golfing, and playing pickleball. We are so excited for Josephine to bring her incredible expertise, vision, and commitment to equity to PolicyLink.

I see this transition as a gift to our institution — and one that honors each of the gifts we have to bring to this work. I am eager to begin my journey at PolicyLink as the inaugural Chief Advancement and Special Initiatives Officer continuing to grow this institution into its next era, while cheering on Josephine as she does the same in Operations. Together, our team will continue advancing work to redesign a nation that works for all.


Josh Kirshenbaum
Outgoing COO, Newly Minted Chief Advancement and Special Initiatives Officer, PolicyLink