Kendra Howard (she/her) is the director of Policy & Systems. She leads the Foundation’s efforts to nurture an education policy ecosystem at the city and state level that listens to and is accountable to Detroit youth, educators, and residents.
Kendra started her professional career as a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Counties Association, advocating on behalf of all elected and appointed officials. After four years, she returned to Michigan to work on the Democratic Coordinated Campaign.
After a successful campaign, Kendra began working at the Michigan House of Representatives. For nearly a decade, she was a senior legislative analyst for local government, agriculture economic development, and the corresponding appropriation subcommittees. She was also instrumental in crafting legislation governing the City of Detroit.
Kendra was tapped as Mayor Dave Bing’s co-policy director for his first campaign, then transitioned in his administration as an appointee.
Kendra was a lobbyist for the Southeast Michigan Girl Scout Council and was employed with the workforce development think tank Corporation for a Skilled Workforce where she was instrumental in the development of a 150-organization workforce development alliance to help chronically unemployed and under
In 2015, she become a solo-puner of Sector Connections LLC. With the tagline “Conceive, Connect, Cultivate,” her services included grant writing, strategic planning, and local and state government advocacy.
Immediately prior to joining The Skillman Foundation, Kendra was employed at Guidehouse, a management consulting firm where she assisted in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program for Wayne County.
Kendra is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College with a major in American Policy Affairs. She is a daughter of a public-school teacher and Champion for the Cody Academy of Public Leadership Council.
Kendra has volunteered in her community since the age of 12 and has served on various boards and organizations. These activities include supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Oakland Literacy Council, the Michigan Political History Society, and serving as a Lansing Food Bank volunteer. Kendra is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
When she is not cheering for her beloved Spartans, you can find Kendra in a museum, reading, latch hooking, or making pottery.