Ms. Esther Nieves

(KNLP-16; Former WKKF Staff)

Focus Areas

Social Justice
Immigration & Border Issues


Esther Nieves is the former director of Community Engagement and Leadership at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich. Prior to this appointment, she served as program officer for Community and Civic Engagement. Esther is responsible for assuring effective implementation of the Community Engagement and Leadership strategy in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation priority places, and other geographic areas. In this role, she is responsible she oversees the implementation of the foundation's Community Leadership Network (CLN# Fellowship Program; identifies and supports opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities and in the execution of programming efforts aligned with the Foundation’s goals. She oversees the Community Engagement and Leadership team, ensures the effective coordination of the fellowship program and serves as a convener, collaborator and catalyst, focusing on citizen participation and community engagement, multi-sector strategies and new models for movement building to improve the well-being of vulnerable children and families. Prior to joining the foundation in 2010, Esther worked as an independent consultant providing facilitation assistance, strategic planning and programmatic planning workshops to nonprofits. She was also the national director of American Friends Service Committee’s Human Migration and Mobility/Project Voice program #Philadelphia); Philadelphia; associate executive director and executive director of Erie Neighborhood House, a multi-service agency established in 1870 by the Presbytery of Chicago to primarily support and serve poor and low-income families in the city. Other professional positions also include program officer for the Field Foundation of Ill.; consultant for Leadership for Quality Education – a citywide project in Chicago to prepare and support parental and community involvement in the founding elections of Local School Councils; executive director of the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs and held several positions in city government. Esther holds a Master of Science in management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Master of Arts from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration; and a Bachelor of Arts from Mundelein College at Loyola University, Chicago. She has received several awards in recognition of her civic activism and leadership, among these, the University of Chicago's Distinguished Alumni Award.