Stephen Pennypacker, Esq., joined PSF as President and CEO in April 2014. Pennypacker has more than 10 years’ experience working in child welfare as an attorney and administrator and most recently served as Assistant Secretary for Programs for the Department of Children and Families. In this role, his duties included oversight of policy development, rule-making and maintenance of programs for adoptions, domestic violence, foster care, adult protection, homelessness, child care licensing, background screening, federal compliance, federal grants, quality assurance and contract management for Florida’s child protection system. He managed a multi-million dollar budget and worked regularly with the Legislature and the Governor’s office.
Prior to this role, Pennypacker was the national president for the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, served as a Deputy Director for Children’s Legal Services and presided as General Magistrate for the Eighth Judicial Circuit. He also worked for the State Attorney’s office at the time DCF began to privatize, managing the local pilot project for Children’s Legal Services, and spent 15 years in private practice prior to concentrating his career in child welfare.
Throughout the time Pennypacker has served in statewide leadership roles, he has always maintained strong ties to his roots in North Central Florida. He is a graduate of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and went on to receive a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Duke University. He returned to Gainesville to attend law school at the University of Florida, where he remains an Adjunct Professor today. He and his wife, Teresa Drake, have three children and one grandchild and reside in historic Northeast Gainesville.