Liz Jackson-Simpson

Liz Jackson-Simpson

Success Centers, Executive Director

Liz Jackson-Simpson has served as Chief Executive Officer of Success Centers since 2010. During her tenure, she has exponentially enhanced its capacity, increasing the budget from $450,000 to more than $9 million, growing the staff, bringing in new supporters, and acquiring a community location in the Western Addition.

While attending San Francisco State University, Liz began working with the Private Industry Council (now known as the Office of Economic and Workforce Development), becoming an expert in workforce development and education programs, and eventually co-authoring the highly praised Youth Opportunity grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. This grant secured $28 million for youth employment programs in San Francisco.

Liz then went to the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, where she spent 16 years creating job training programs at Log Cabin Ranch for Boys and developing re-integration services for young people released from incarceration. Liz directed the Department’s Community Programs Division, overseeing millions of dollars annually for wraparound enrichment programs and opportunities for youth.  Today, Success Centers continues to support the re-entry population in both juvenile and adult systems.

After retiring from the Probation Department, Liz was named the first-ever Executive Director of Program Development for the YMCA of San Francisco—a position created specifically to leverage her enormous expertise. After serving a five-year stint, Liz embraced the challenge of becoming the first Chief Executive Officer of Success Centers.

Liz has been a lifelong artist, but her love of art has taken second place to her love of community. All in all, she possesses nearly 40 years of workforce development and juvenile justice experience.

Liz was named a 2016 ‘Hero of the Year’ by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. In 2019, she received the Michael O’Neil Award for Nonprofit Management and Leadership Excellence.

Reentry Conference Event Page

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Hall A | St. Mary's Cathedral - Event Center

Employment Best Practices for People Reentering Society After Incarceration

John Cunningham
Rubicon Programs Inc., Richmond Site Manager


Terah Lawyer
President, Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs
Donna Hilliard
Executive Director, Code Tenderloin
Mr. Chuck Etchison
Jericho Project, Founder
Liz Jackson-Simpson
Executive Director, Success Centers  


The difficulties faced by formerly incarcerated individuals upon re-entry into society highlight a critical issue in the United States criminal justice system. One significant challenge is the limited employment opportunities, often due to stigma and employer biases against hiring individuals with criminal records. These barriers not only affect the individuals themselves but also have ripple effects on their families and communities. The inability to secure stable housing, gainful employment, and access to education perpetuates cycles of poverty and social marginalization. This panel will specifically address employment barriers and propose successful reentry strategies for formerly incarcerated individuals.