For the first time in 26 years, the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children and Youth has a new president. Donna Cooper will lead the organization following the retirement of Shelly Yanoff, whose work on health, education, child care and other issues affecting kids made her a household name in Philadelphia.

Donna Cooper comes to the job with some accomplishments of her own. As Governor Ed Rendell’s Secretary of Policy and Planning, she was one of the most influential figures in Harrisburg for years. In the 1990’s she was a deputy mayor for policy and planning in Philadelphia, and after that founded and led the statewide advocacy group Good Schools PA. 

She recently sat down with WHYY’s Senior Reporter Dave Davies to talk about her past work and her plans for PCCY.