Ashon McKenzie, Executive Director, Illinois

Ashon McKenzie

Executive Director, Illinois

Ashon McKenzie leads Start Early’s program, policy and professional learning work across Illinois. To learn more about our work, visit our Illinois Hub.

Ashon has spent the last decade dedicated to public service, legal advocacy, and public policy. Before joining Start Early, he served as the Director of Strategy, Planning, Policy, & Innovation for the City of Columbus’ infant and maternal health backbone agency, where he oversaw the creation and implementation of the City’s 5-year community-wide strategic plan. He also served as Policy Director for the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, acting as the organization’s chief lobbyist and policy strategist. Ashon is a former Assistant Ohio Attorney General where he was legal counsel to several colleges and universities, as well as the Ohio Department of Education. He later served as Deputy Legal Counsel and Policy Advisor for Ohio Senate.

Ashon is a proud alumnus of Notre Dame Law School and sits on the Board of Directors for IMPACT Community Action. He is married and has four energetic children.