Winnie Wechsler currently recently transitioned to senior advisor of the Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation (www.ajpff.org), where she served as executive director for the past 11 years. For over two decades, the foundation has been investing in strengthening many of the unique institutions that define Los Angeles, with particular focus on health, higher education, the environment, and the arts. In 2014, the foundation launched Pritzker Foster Care Initiative to highlight its commitment to supporting transition age foster youth and the families that care for them, while investing in initiatives to spur system change.
Before joining the Foundation in 2012, Ms. Wechsler served for nine years as executive director of Phoenix Houses of California, a substance abuse treatment and mental health services organization. At Phoenix House, she oversaw residential and outpatient treatment programs serving over 2,000 adolescents and adults each day in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties and in prisons located throughout California.
Before working for 20 years in the non-profit sector, Ms. Wechsler worked for twenty years in media and communications in the private sector, including serving as a senior executive at The Walt Disney Company for 14 years. While at Disney, she headed up new business development for the Disney Channel and started up and managed Disney.com. In 1999, she left Disney to launch Lightspan, an education technology start-up that she helped take public in 2000.
Ms. Wechsler holds a BA from Wellesley College in Russian Studies and an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.