May 9, 2016

Annie McKayTOPEKA – Annie McKay has been named the new President and CEO of Kansas Action for Children (KAC). She will succeed current President and CEO, Shannon Cotsoradis, who will step down to assume a leadership role at the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative, LLC.

“Kansas Action for Children has been a leading voice for advocacy under the dome for nearly 40 years, but there are undoubtedly challenges ahead as the state continues to grapple with an ongoing budget crisis,” said McKay. “Investments in Kansas’ youngest children are among the most efficient and effective dollars we spend in state government. I’m eager to continue KAC’s important work to ensure policymakers maintain these investments in Kansas children and families.”

McKay has served as the founding Executive Director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG) since 2013. In that time, she transformed a fledgling operation to a respected and reliable statewide resource on Kansas budget and tax policy. McKay has traveled across the state and country, educating thousands about issues impacting Kansas state government. A native Kansan, she holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a graduate degree from the University of Chicago.

“We are deeply grateful for Shannon’s leadership and service, and we’re sad to see her go,” said Susan Fetsch, president of the KAC Board of Directors. “But the board has complete confidence in Annie’s ability to advance the mission of KAC amid this transition. Her experience navigating the legislative process, her relationships with both Republican and Democratic policymakers, and her in-depth knowledge of state health, budget, and education issues make her the best possible choice to lead KAC into its next chapter.”

Cotsoradis, who has served as KAC’s President and CEO since 2010, worked at Kansas Action for Children for 19 years. She helped engineer the passage of several legislative victories for young children throughout her tenure, including:

  • The expansion of SCHIP in 2008, expanding health care coverage to 8,000 low-income Kansas children;
  • The passage of graduated drivers licensing legislation in 2009, reducing teen-related car accidents;
  • The passage of Lexie’s Law in 2010, making Kansas a national model in child care licensing;
  • The successful preservation of the Children’s Initiatives Fund in 2016, despite repeated attempts by the administration to dismantle it.

Cotsoradis’ resignation will be effective May 31st.

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