ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > Robert Francis

Robert Francis

Robert (Bob) Francis has worked for over 30 years in progressive leadership positions at the local, state and national levels in service to young people and families. His experience includes work in community and youth development and organizing, juvenile justice, child welfare, substance abuse and mental health. He is dedicated to community building processes whereby young people, community residents and professionals who work with or whose work affects citizens work in partnership to build healthier places to live. Mr. Francis is published in the areas of youth and community development, coalition building and juvenile justice system reform and has spoken and conducted training at all levels about these topics.

He is currently the Executive Director of RYASAP: Catalyst for Community Change, a youth and community development coalition serving the state of Connecticut.

He is Co-founder and Chairperson of the CT Juvenile Justice Alliance, an advocacy organization for youth involved with the juvenile justice system in Connecticut and Public Allies Connecticut, a leadership development program for young adults of which RYASAP is the lead agency. He is also Co-founder and board member of the Connecticut Assets Network, a statewide organization working with local and state organizations to incorporate strength-based approaches into working with communities and young people throughout Connecticut.

Bob has been a faculty member for the Assets Based Community Development Institute since 1997. In this role, Bob has given over 200 talks and training sessions, developed web-based youth development curricula, published training manuals and provided technical assistance in implementing approaches to community building with youth and adult citizens throughout the United States and Canada. He currently is working with Reclaiming Futures, the Benedict Foundation, Act for Youth at Cornell University Extension Service, the Connecticut Youth Services Association and Fairfield University.

He has a master's degree in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and an Associate Degree in Engineering from Penn State University.

Bob lives with his wife Holly, and is the parent of three children – Aaron, Sara and Douglas and three grandchildren – Jack, Matthew and Scott Robert! He enjoys basketball, photography, biking, reading and writing and is a strong advocate for changes that positively affect the lives of young people in communities. ​