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Jerene Petersen Joins Mile High United Way as Chief Impact Officer

Mile High United Way names Jerene Petersen as Chief Impact Officer. Former Chief Impact Officer Eddie Koen and his family have relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio where he will serve as the President and CEO of the local Urban League chapter. See the announcement here.



Most recently, Petersen was the Deputy Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services at the State of Colorado.  In that role, she supervised: the Office of Early Childhood; the Department of Adult and Aging; the Office of Children, Youth and Families; Community Behavioral Health; and the Office of Economic Security.  She worked extensively with all 64 counties throughout the State, and with both the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Tribes.


Petersen re-joins Mile High United Way with a wealth of knowledge for community programs – and the organization. Prior to joining the State of Colorado, she was the Chief Impact Officer of Mile High United Way where she oversaw the impact teams strategic framework


“As a community and an organization, we are lucky to have such committed and skilled leaders join our team. We are thrilled for Eddie’s new chapter and we are excited to welcome Jerene back to our team. With a deep understanding of our work and priorities, it is fortunate that we don’t have to skip a beat and can make this transition as seamless as possible so that we can continue to serve individuals and families in our community,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way


In her role as Chief Impact Officer, Jerene will oversee all external and community programming efforts and will lead programming and investment strategies to maximize impact and drive innovative results-based initiatives in Metro Denver’s most under-resourced communities.

Jerene has a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas, and over 30 years of experience working with state, local and non-profit organizations.  Jerene implemented  Denver’s Road Home and oversaw the allocations and evaluation of all aspects of programming during Mayor Hickenlooper’s administration. Early in her career, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa doing community engagement work.


Her strengths are outcome and program design to drive impact in our community.  She has a strong commitment to our most vulnerable populations which include: youth in the foster care system; people experiencing homelessness; early care and education; mental health services and policy development.

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