Jennifer Friend

Jennifer Friend

Board Member, UCI Alumni Association

Executive Director,

Project Hope Alliance (PHA)


UC Irvine – 1995, B.A., social ecology

Whittier Law School – 1998, J.D.


Prior to becoming the CEO of Project Hope Alliance, Jennifer Friend enjoyed a successful career as a partner at a large law firm managing a litigation team and a substantial personal book of business representing national and international clients throughout the civil courts of California.  While practicing law Ms. Friend served in a volunteer role as President and Secretary of Project Hope Alliance’s Board of Directors and was actively engaged in the organization’s expansion and strategic growth.   She left her law partnership in 2012 to serve as Project Hope’s CEO.  In the past four and a half years under her leadership, more than 850 children and their families have been moved out of homelessness.  She has been successful in identifying, leveraging, and acting upon opportunities and partnerships both within the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.  Jennifer’s personal experience as a homeless child fuels her deep-rooted passion and commitment to homeless children and youth, while her ability to cast vision, think strategically, and lead and direct broader systems change uniquely qualifies her to serve as Project Hope Alliance’s CEO.   

Jennifer Friend graduated from the University of California Irvine and Whittier Law School.  She currently serves as the Chair of UCI’s Alumni Association and on the Field Study Advisory Board, and is very active on campus. Jennifer, her fellow Anteater husband Rob Smith, and their two children Parker and Beck, live in Costa Mesa.