Welcome our New Executive Director
Kickstart Kids has selected Joan T. Neuhaus as its executive director, succeeding Susie Peake, who had been associated with Kickstart Kids since 2017. As executive director, Ms. Neuhaus will have strategic and operational responsibility for Kickstart Kids staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. She served as executive director of the William Stamps Farish Fund from 2014 to 2020, and brings more than 30 years of experience as an accomplished professional executive, military officer, and public servant.
Ms. Neuhaus began her career in finance and investments, then transitioned to financial due diligence and business litigation with the founding of a private investigations firm. Concurrently she served in the United States Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Chaired at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University as the Fellow for Homeland Security and Terrorism, she also served the city and county as the Executive Director of the Houston-Harris County Homeland Security Advisory Council and Director of the Texas Security Forum. Her philanthropy experience encompasses approximately 15 non-profit boards in positions that have included as President, Treasurer, Secretary, Audit Chair and Mentor, as well as over ten years as an adult leader in scouting. Ms. Neuhaus earned her B.A. in Political Economy from Williams College and her M.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the Jones School of Business at Rice University, where she currently serves on the Council of Overseers.