Political Notebook

Former First 5 Fresno County head Kendra Rogers changing jobs again

Kendra Rogers
Kendra Rogers

Kendra Rogers, the former First 5 Fresno County executive director who almost a year ago left the organization after ugly confrontations with Fresno County supervisors over First 5’s direction, is on the move again.

In early August, Rogers will start a new job as managing director of Children Now, an Oakland nonprofit that advocates for children’s health and education. She will relocate to the Bay Area for the job.

“Kendra’s strong leadership at First 5 Fresno was valued by the early childhood community throughout California,” Children Now President Ted Lempert said in a statement.

In an interview, Rogers said the new job “will give me the opportunity to advocate for Fresno’s kids — as well as kids throughout the state — on a statewide level.”

Rogers made news in 2013 and 2014 as she battled with Fresno County Supervisors Debbie Poochigian and Henry R. Perea and, to a lesser extent, former Supervisors Phil Larson and Judy Case McNairy about First 5 issues.

In May 2013, Rogers even pulled papers to challenge Poochigian when she is up for reelection next year. After leaving First 5, Rogers said she was no longer considering a run.

From First 5, Rogers last August went to work for Granville Homes in the newly created position of community investment director. But Rogers recently left that job after less than a year. She declined to comment on her departure from Granville.

She’s currently under a short-term contract with Learn2Earn, through the Fresno Regional Foundation, to develop a strategic plan for the organization. Learn2Earn educates and trains residents who want to earn their GED, change careers or go to college.

With Children Now, Lempert said Rogers will work on a range of state and local policy issues.