Bio

Jamie Van Leeuwen currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Governor Hickenlooper after working as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Community Partnerships during the first term.  Leading up to the Hickenlooper administration, he worked as the Policy Director and served on the transition team for the Hickenlooper for Colorado gubernatorial campaign.  He is also the CEO & Founder of the Global Livingston Institute (GLI), a non-governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders to develop innovative solutions to poverty and is a Senior Research Fellow with the Buechner Institute at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs.  He became a Fulbright Scholar in 2013.   

In 2006, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper appointed Jamie to head up Denver’s Road Home.  In this role, he oversaw leadership staff, fundraising, public relations and evaluation for Denver’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  In the first five years, Denver’s Road Home leveraged over $50 million in new resources for the homeless, developed over 2,000 new units of affordable housing, prevented over 3,500 families from becoming homeless, reduced chronic homelessness by 70 percent and was recognized by HUD as one of the top six homeless programs in the country.  In 2007, Mayor Hickenlooper appointed Jamie to chair the Drug Strategy Commission and oversee the Office of Drug Strategy.  The office launched a major community-wide strategic plan in 2008 to close the unmet treatment gap in Denver.  In the first two years the plan created over $500 thousand in new treatment services and generated $3.5 million in-kind media annually.  Denver’s Road Home and the Office of Drug Strategy combined to form a new Office of Community Impact under Jamie’s direction.

Since 2009, as the founder and CEO, he has also worked to develop the GLI, an innovative research and learning institute for students and community leaders in Uganda and Rwanda with a social impact focus.  Building a campus modeled after the Aspen Institute in rural Ugandan and forging a series of academic and public-private partnerships, this “poor man’s” Aspen institute serves over 200 scholars annually, has hired over 300 East Africans into the workforce and is engaged in multiple research initiatives throughout Uganda.  The institute hosts an annual Women’s Leadership Summit and a growing music festival with a focus on HIV prevention and testing.  Recent partnerships include work with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and New York Fashion week, both aimed at empowering and employing Ugandans in the workforce.

Prior to his role in the public sector, Jamie directed fundraising, legislative work and research as the Director of Development & Public Affairs at Urban Peak, a Colorado non-profit agency serving homeless and at-risk youth.  During his tenure at Urban Peak he was appointed to serve a two-year term on the National Council for Youth Policy for the National Network of Youth.   He is a graduate of Leadership Denver (2002), Emerging Leaders (2003), and Leadership Arts (2004) and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Denver and University of Colorado Denver.  Jamie was selected in 2005 as an inaugural Livingston Fellow by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Board to cultivate his leadership in the non-profit community in Colorado and in 2006 was named one of “Forty Under Forty” by the Denver Business Journal

Jamie completed his Ph.D. in Public Policy at the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver with an emphasis on affordable housing and homelessness.  He has a Masters degree in International Public Health and a Masters degree in Sociology from Tulane University.   His career focus is on domestic and international work related to poverty alleviation, specifically targeting homeless and vulnerable youth in developed and developing countries.  Jamie is involved in the community serving on boards for the Biennial of the Americas, Buechner Institute, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, and the Presidents Leadership Class at the University of Colorado. He has previously served on the boards of the Capital Hill United Neighborhood Association, Colorado Health Institute, Curious Theatre, Denver Foundation Human Services Advisory Board, Family Directions, the Harm Reduction Action Center, Level One Health Board, Morgridge Family Foundation 21st Century Classroom Board, and the 9Kids Who Care Advisory Board.  He is active as a national and international researcher and presenter.  Over 50 publications, poster presentations, lectures and keynotes include a recent article on mental health services in rural Uganda, a book chapter in Globalizing the Streets, and an article in American Journal on Addictions featuring a multi-city research project he directed on homeless youth.

He is the recipient of the 2017 Urban Peak Maverick Thinker Award, the 2014 Creighton University Alumnae Merit Award, the 2009 “Judy Kaufman Civic Entrepreneurship Award” from the Denver Foundation, the 2010 Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Alumnus of the Year, and named in the 2011 Power Issue of the Out Front magazine as a leader in Lesbian & Gay community.  Jamie has extensive international experience with travel to 100 countries.  He is an avid runner and has run the New York City Marathon twice.  His partner Andrei lives and works in Washington, DC for the federal government and his son graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in international development.