When Peggy Brower Harris, MPA became the President and CEO of Three Rivers Youth in 2000, she joined a flagship agency with a distinguished record spanning 120 years of providing children and family services. Drawing upon her business acumen and management expertise, Ms. Harris successfully animated and adapted evidence-based program models to address the needs of disadvantaged and at risk youth, with impressive results. Recognized by the business, public service, and academic communities as a prominent executive and effective administrator, Ms. Harris’s approach to organizational leadership emphasizes impact, advocacy, and innovation grounded in thorough research, analysis, transparency, and the objective measurement of outcomes.
Continuously informed by best practices, Ms. Harris has guided the agency’s resources to help thousands of youth and families successfully navigate the child welfare system. Her leadership connects highly vulnerable youth with the support they need to acquire safety and wellbeing, to restore family bonds, and to gain appropriate functionality. With access to the comprehensive programs and services she administers at Three Rivers Youth, foster care youth are assisted on the path from adolescence to adulthood, to pursue high school graduation and higher education, to explore the world of work and civil society, and ultimately, to become self-sufficient and successful in life.
Ms. Harris has been a vibrant part of the conversation and agendas leading to system reforms in the child welfare system, human services, and community enrichment in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. Her work has also helped propel the achievement of many organizations throughout the Pittsburgh region and beyond. Some of this work has included extensive volunteerism and board service to organizations whose missions focus on child welfare, youth development, racial and social justice, women’s empowerment, and educational achievement; University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, United Way of Allegheny County, YWCA of the USA, Pennsylvania Council of Children Youth and Family Services, YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Boys and girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, Miryam’s, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Ivy Charitable Endowment of Pittsburgh, Jack and Jill, and the Greater Pittsburgh Commission for Women. She also devotes time to mentoring young women and girls.
Ms. Harris holds a B.A. in English from Virginia State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Her educational achievements include study abroad in Paris at the Sorbonne, Institut Brittanique, Institut Americain; a certificate in French language (Sorbonne); and a certificate in Executive Education from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She is also a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh.
Ms. Harris has been recognized widely by several organizations for her leadership in human services, racial justice, community service and career achievement, including: Trailblazer Award in Human Services, New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Influence, New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence, Top Hat Award in Human Services, Honorary Member of Pi Alpha Alpha, Minority Achiever’s Award, 2010 YWCA Racial Justice Award, 2012 Pittsburgh Circle of Courage Award, 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award – University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the 2013 Allerton Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
"Ms. Harris values the enrichment her family has brought to her life, especially grandson Marcos Cordell Peralta."