John Bracken Joins Save the Children as Texas State Director

Youth Services Executive to Lead Recovery Work following Hurricane Harvey

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 14, 2018) — Save the Children, the leading international humanitarian organization focused on meeting the needs of children during and after disaster, today announced the appointment of John Bracken as Texas State Director. John will lead a team of 20 Save the Children staff focused on long-term recovery efforts following the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

“I am delighted to join Save the Children as the new Texas State Director. Through our work restoring child care centers and afterschool programs, as well as introducing social and emotional health programming, we are committed to helping children recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey,” said John Bracken. “Our goal is to grow a long term presence in Texas, supporting the needs of underserved children and families.”

Save the Children’s Emergency Response Team deployed to Texas in advance of Hurricane Harvey and has been on the ground, based in Houston, since the earliest days of the disaster. Immediate response efforts included implementing Save the Children’s disaster-tested Child-Friendly Spaces program, which provided safe and protective play areas for children at seven evacuation shelters throughout the state, and coordinating with local partners to distribute tens of thousands of essential child-centric materials to families most affected by the storm.

As a national leader in early childhood education, Save the Children continues to partner with early learning networks and programs to help restore and improve child care and afterschool services in greater Houston and along the Texas coastline. In addition, Save the Children continues to deliver emotional support programs to children and their adult caregivers to help build coping skills and resilience through its social and emotional health program Journey of Hope. In collaboration with local mental health providers, Save the Children is working to create a sustainable resource to support children and families through their healing process.

“We are thrilled to welcome John to our Texas team. When crisis strikes, we know that children are always among the most vulnerable,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs and Advocacy for Save the Children. “Unlike other national nonprofit organizations, Save the Children is committed to both the immediate response phase and long-term recovery efforts, which is why we’ve built such a robust team of early learning, community engagement and resilience specialists in Texas. Under John’s leadership, I’m confident we’ll deliver for the children of the Lone Star State.”

Most recently, John served as Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery County Youth Services, where he oversaw counseling programs that annually served more than 3,300 children and families struggling with family conflict and social and emotional challenges. Prior to that, he led Payne County Youth Services in Oklahoma as Executive Director. In addition to his new role with Save the Children, John serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Network of Youth Services as Vice Board Chair.

To learn more about Save the Children’s Hurricane Harvey response and recovery work, visit

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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