Director of Strategic Initiatives
Kristene Blackstone joined the Alliance as the Director of Strategic Initiatives in December 2022 after more than 27 years of public service working with children and families. She had previously worked as an independent child welfare consultant, providing support to TACFS, Texas’ SSCCs, the University of Texas Institute of Child and Family Well-Being and other organizations. Prior to that she served as the Associate Commissioner for Child Protective Services in Texas from May 2016-May 2020, leading one of the largest child protective services systems in the country with over 10,000 employees. During that time, she oversaw the expansion of community-based care and the implementation of numerous initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for children and families.
Kristene has also worked as the Deputy Director for Field Operations for the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, and as a caseworker, program director and regional program administrator at the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Kristene serves on the board of directors for Learning Bridge, a non-profit organization whose mission is to match tutors with kids in foster care to give them the educational support they need to stay in school, improve academic performance, and achieve greater success later in life. She cares deeply about working with children, families and communities to create opportunities to thrive.
A Dallas native, Kristene received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.
Personal Values: Integrity, Optimism, Collaboration, and Service