Sherry Lachman
Founder and Executive Director

Sherry Lachman has devoted her career to improving government systems to help disadvantaged children and families. She previously served as a domestic policy advisor to Vice President Biden, a senior policy advisor at the Department of Education, a senior education counsel to Senator Al Franken, and an attorney at the Juvenile Law Center. Since founding Foster America, she has been recognized as a fellow in the Halcyon Incubator, Senior Fellow at the Taubman Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, and as a Draper Richards Kaplan entrepreneur. Sherry holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's in philosophy from the University of Cambridge, a doctor of law from Columbia University School of Law, and a master's degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Sherry’s commitment to child welfare stems from her experience in foster care as a child. Contact Sherry.

Marie Zemler Wu
Deputy Director

Marie Zemler Wu is a community-builder and a creative, with extensive child welfare experience. In past roles at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Center for the Study of Social Policy, Marie consulted to child welfare systems across the nation.  As an adoptee, her work is informed by a personal mission to see every child rooted in family. Marie is a graduate of Macalester College, Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts, and the Harvard Kennedy School. Marie leads Foster America's programs, including work with fellows, host agencies, and fellowship candidates. 

Emily Ente
Director of Strategy & Partnerships

Emily Ente started her career in nonprofit education reform at the charter management organization Achievement First and served as Chief of Staff at Turnaround for Children. After receiving her MBA, Emily worked in Deloitte’s Human Capital consulting practice before returning to the nonprofit sector. She is a graduate of Williams College and the Yale University School of Management. Emily has a passion for organization development and systems change. Contact Emily.


For over 35 years, the Center for the Study of Social Policy has worked with policy makers and communities across the country to create opportunities and secure better futures for children and families, especially those most often left behind. It is home to luminaries in the child welfare and social services sectors. A team of CSSP leaders, including Director Frank Farrow, Senior Fellow Lisbeth Schorr, Deputy Director Judy Meltzer, Associate Director Susan Notkin, Chief Financial Officer Christie Katz and Senior Associate Francie Zimmerman met regularly with Foster America staff, informing the development of Foster America's program, from fellow training and site selection to financial management systems and operations. 

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises. DRK welcomed Foster America to its grantee portfolio, providing our first institutional funding, committing unrestricted capital over our first three years.  Most importantly, DRK offers rigorous, ongoing support. Managing Director Nathalie Laidler-Kylander is a founding Foster America advisory board member and close partner in building our organizational capacity and scaling our impact. She and others on the DRK team have generously shared their knowledge, networks, and resources to help us launch and grow.

Tides Logo

The Tides Center serves as our fiscal sponsor. They receive charitable donations and grants on our behalf, maintain the necessary legal and financial infrastructure for all program activities, and enable us to focus on our core mission.