Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Alana Sweeny has dedicated her career to working directly with children and youth facing challenges such as poverty or special needs, and supporting their cause through policy, partnerships and funding. Trained in elementary education, as an early childhood educator, special educator and school administrator, she has worked with young children and their families as a teacher and administrator of programs serving children from birth through age 21; she has developed model local programs and influenced state and national policy initiatives.
Ms. Sweeny served as Executive Director of the Police Athletic League, Inc. in New York City, providing 40,000 children with education, sports, recreational activities and workforce development in high poverty and crime areas. She was also Executive Director of the New York State Council on Children and Families, where she coordinated the state’s 13 education, health and human services agencies. Ms. Sweeny has chaired numerous task forces, including School-Community Collaboration, Out of Wedlock Pregnancy and Poverty and the Alliance for Family Literacy; she has also served on several Board of Regents committees.
A member of the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and the Megan’s Law Task Force, Ms. Sweeny brought community groups, law enforcement, churches and community agencies together to identify collaborative strategies to reduce youth crime in areas of high poverty. She is currently an active Red Cross volunteer, serving on the national rapid response team, and worked as its public aff airs spokesperson for Putnam County. Ms. Sweeny is Vice-President of the Board of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Putnam County and is Vice-President for Policy of the National Irish American Republicans; she is former member of the Board of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Putnam County Commission on Fiscal Vision and Accountability. She has served in numerous leadership positions, in addition to being named as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1992, where she also served on the 2008 Platform Committee.
Married to Judge John Sweeny of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, they have three sons.