Dr. Marsha E. Renwanz

Founder & Principal
Policy Works for Children, Youth and Families
Washington, District of Columbia
United States

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
Public Sector / Government
Racial Equity & Healing
Juvenile Justice
Social Justice
Gender-Based Violence
Youth Development
Youth Development


Marsha Renwanz, Ph.D., has turned a doctorate in Legal Anthropology into a force for legislative reform on behalf of children, youth, and families. Currently, she serves as Founder & Principal of Policy Works for Children, Youth and Families. Dr. Renwanz has served as a Special Assistant and Senior Policy Advisor within the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Before joining DOJ, Dr. Renwanz spent 3 months as a Juvenile Justice Advisor to a Parliamentary Committee in Kazakhstan through a program of the American Bar Association. Prior to that, she served 13 years as a Staffer in the U.S. Senate. From 1989 to 1993, Dr. Renwanz was Chief Policy Advisor to the Senate Juvenile Justice Subcommittee, where she took the lead in drafting and overseeing the enactment of the 1992 reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, including Title V Delinquency Prevention Grants and the Part E Challenge Grants. From 1980 to 1988, Dr. Renwanz served as Staff Director of the Senate's Children's Caucus and Staff Director of the Senate's Subcommittee on Children, Families, Drugs and Alcoholism. Here, she drafted and oversaw the enactment of numerous legislative initiatives to assist children and families, including the Child Abuse Prevention Challenge Grant Program, Emergency Child Abuse Grants, and the High Risk Youth Program to Combat Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Dr. Renwanz also organized nationwide hearings in support of the Family Leave Act and the Act for Better Child Care. Dr. Renwanz holds a master's degree and a doctorate from Stanford University. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship that enabled her to visit and assess children's programs in Venezuela, the former Soviet Union, and Southern Africa. She also has received child advocacy awards from the National Council of Jewish Women and the National Network for Runaway and Homeless Youth.