< Back to all speakers
President & CEO
As President and CEO of Jobs for the Future, Maria Flynn leads JFF’s overall growth strategy, including funding diversification, strategic planning, partnership building, system deployment, change management, and talent development. She is responsible for all of JFF’s programs and operations in a highly collaborative environment across its education and workforce development sectors. Ms. Flynn is a member of JFF’s Board of Directors.
Previously, as Jobs for the Future’s Senior Vice President, Ms. Flynn led JFF's Building Economic Opportunity Group, working to help entry-level workers advance to family-supporting careers while enabling employers to build and sustain a productive workforce. She also led JFF’s federal policy and advocacy strategies, which are focused on advancing the educational needs of underserved Americans and developing a skilled workforce. Ms. Flynn is a leading national expert on issues such as career pathways, employer engagement, sector strategies, and place-based initiatives. This team provides technical assistance, coaching, documentation, labor market analysis, and evaluation support to a wide range of projects around the country, supported by public and private funders. In the nine years that she led the Building Economic Opportunity Group at JFF, Ms. Flynn significantly increased the size and impact of the cluster, growing it from a budget of $5 million in FY08 to over $10 million in FY17, and 12 employees to almost 40 employees over that same time period.
Ms. Flynn has 25 years of experience in the workforce development and education fields. Prior to joining JFF in 2007, she was a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service and served as the administrator of the Office of Policy Development and Research in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. In that role, she oversaw development of policies for all of the agency’s programs serving both young people and adults, and managed the agency's research and evaluation strategy, as well as the agency’s annual budget and appropriations activities, totaling $12 billion and 1,200 employees. Ms. Flynn also coordinated the ETA’s extensive legislative, regulatory, and international affairs agendas and outreach to other federal agencies and philanthropic organizations.
Within the Employment and Training Administration, Ms. Flynn previously led the Division of One-Stop Operations, where she developed the policy and technical assistance framework necessary to enable states and local communities to establish comprehensive one-stop delivery systems designed to provide quality services to jobseekers, workers, and employers. She also served as the team leader of the interagency group charged with implementing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. In the 1990s, she played key leadership roles in the National School-to-Work initiative and in the launch of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills initiative.
Ms. Flynn earned her bachelor of arts in international relations and economics at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a master’s in government administration at the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Mike, reside in Weymouth, Massachusetts. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Amelia and Caroline.