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Kim Sweet

Executive Director (she/her)

Kim Sweet is the Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), where she is responsible for AFC’s overall direction, operations, and effectiveness. Since coming to AFC in 2007, Kim has made significant changes to the board of directors and diversified revenue streams, which has enabled AFC to grow and strengthen programs for students in need. She has developed the organization’s policy advocacy and launched a number of collective efforts, such as the NYC-focused ARISE Coalition (the Action for Reform in Special Education Coalition)and the state-wide Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma. She also collaborated with the former Chief Judge of New York State, Judith Kaye, and the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children to form the School-Justice Partnership Task Force, which brought together leaders from government agencies, the judiciary, research institutions, and advocacy groups to address the problem of too many children growing up in the courts and eventually dropping out of school. In addition, Kim has been active in matters of school governance, serving as an appointee of former New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to the Commission on School Governance, which issued an influential report in 2008 on the issue of mayoral control for the city’s schools. Over the years, Kim has served on numerous committees and task forces focused on the NYC public schools, including the Literacy Advisory Council, the Mayor’s Leadership Team for School Climate & Discipline, the Community Schools Advisory Committee, and the School Diversity Advisory Group.

Prior to joining AFC, Kim worked at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) for ten years, most recently serving as Associate General Counsel. She spearheaded NYLPI’s special education advocacy work, oversaw and ran the special education pro bono project, served as one of NYLPI’s senior managers, conducted litigation on disability rights issues, and led a number of policy initiatives. One such initiative Kim co-founded is Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE) — a group of parents, educators, and advocates who still press for more inclusive educational options in New York City’s schools.

Kim received the 2015 Brooke Russell Astor Award from the New York Public Library; the 2010 Felix A. Fishman Award for Excellence in Advocacy from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; and a 2003 Legal Services Award from the New York City Bar Association.

Kim holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She also taught for two years as an adjunct professor in the Urban Law Clinic of New York Law School.