BCS Announces Appointment of Janelle Farris As New President/Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Brooklyn Community Services is proud to announce the appointment of Janelle Farris as President and Executive Director. Ms. Farris, previously BCS’s Chief Operating Officer, brings to the position decades of nonprofit leadership and proven dedication.  

David O’Connell, Chair of the Board of BCS, said: “All of us at BCS are proud to have Janelle as our new leader. As our Chief Operating Officer, Janelle demonstrated creativity, skill and passion for our mission. Her work has been critical to BCS’s growth and success, and her results-driven emphasis on equity and opportunity make her a wonderful choice as our CEO, to propel us forward in the years to come.”

Since 2013, Ms. Farris has served as BCS’s senior program officer, and provided operational and fiscal oversight to BCS’s 29 program locations and 600 employees. This past year, Ms. Farris led the organization’s development of its new strategic plan, and managed the integration of BCS and its strategic partner, Turning Point Brooklyn.  

“I am honored to become the CEO of BCS, an organization that has historically been at the nexus of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods working to provide the means for people to gain self-sufficiency,” said Ms. Farris. “We will continue this work in the years ahead, driven by the challenge of inequity and dedicated to the people we serve. I’m excited to weave a network of partnerships that foster each individual’s potential and to provide opportunity for everyone to achieve their personal goals.”

Ms. Farris holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as a Post-Master’s Certificate in Organization Development from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School for Social Research. She obtained her B.A. from Spelman College.  As BCS’s new CEO, Ms. Farris succeeds Marla Simpson, who has led the organization since 2012.

A resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ms. Farris’ roots in Brooklyn and connection to BCS’s mission run deep. Prior to joining BCS, she served as Associate Director of Operations at the Pratt Center for Community Development, as director of The Times Square (the nation’s largest supportive-housing residence) and as Director of Community Services for the Times Square Business Improvement District. 


Check out Janelle’s empowering speech from the 2018 Human Spirit Awards!