TACFS Staff

Katie Olse

Chief Executive Officer

Katie Olse was appointed executive director of the Alliance in December of 2016, and CEO in December 2018. She formerly served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Prior to her role as Deputy Commissioner she was Associate Commissioner for DFPS and Chief of Staff for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Executive Commissioner for DFPS and the former Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. She was previously the Director of the Center for Consumer and External Affairs at DFPS where she worked closely with the DFPS Commissioner and the Legislature on critical issues within the child protection, regulatory, adult protective and prevention/early intervention realms.

Prior to joining the HHS system, she was the executive director of a statewide nonprofit organization where she worked on health and human services issues as well as other issues including education, criminal justice, and mental health. Katie has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University and has completed graduate studies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Jesse Booher

Vice President for Policy and Innovation

Jesse joined TACFS as the Director of Policy and Research in November 2017, and became Vice President for Policy and Innovation in December 2018. Jesse comes to TACFS from The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) where he served as the Division Administrator of the DFPS Regional Systems Improvement team. Jesse was the creator of this continuous quality improvement (CQI) team which supported CPS regional management in understanding which assets (people, policy, process, etc.) contributed to a particular area's performance and using those assets to address issues before they became crises. Jesse previously served as a CPS Investigator and supervisor in Dallas County, as well as a member of the CPS Analytics and Evaluation team in Austin. He has a BA in Sociology and Political Science from Austin College in Sherman Texas, two masters' degrees in Sociology and Urban Affairs from the University of Texas-Arlington, and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.


Alyssa Jones

Vice President of Outreach

Alyssa joined TACFS as the Director of Outreach in December of 2018. Alyssa comes to TACFS from the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services where she served as the Deputy Committee Director. Prior to her employment in the Texas Senate, she served as the Legislative Director in Representative Cindy Burkett's office. She spent her time as a staffer in the Texas Legislature focusing on health and human services policy, specifically child welfare policy and legislation. Alyssa has a BA in Psychology from Texas A&M University and completed her graduate studies at The Bush School of Government and Public Service, focusing on health policy and nonprofit management.

Sarah Combs Boruff

Director of Operations 

Sarah Combs Boruff joined the Alliance as policy analyst and program coordinator in 2007, and became the Association's manager 2014, and Director of Operations in December 2018. She oversees all membership services and ensures that the needs of Alliance members are met and exceeded. Sarah also plans and manages the annual Texas Child Care Administrators Conference. She also assists in Texas Center work, Alliance committees and caucuses, legislative and regulatory issues, and makes sure the Alliance office runs smoothly and efficiently. Sarah serves as a resource to Alliance member agencies, Alliance staff, and the TACFS and Texas Center boards of directors. 

Before joining the Alliance, Sarah was the Director of Communications for  the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, a tax policy think tank in Austin, and worked for many years as an editor for an Austin-based educational publishing company. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Austin Community College.

Sheila Bustillos

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Sheila Bustillos, Ph.D. is Director for Strategic Initiatives for the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies. She earned her doctoral degree in Multicultural Womens and Gender Studies at Texas Womans University. She also has an M.A. in Sociology from Texas Womans University, an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance with an Emphasis in Higher Education Administration from Texas State University-San Marcos, and a BESS in Pre-Physical Therapy with a minor in Health and Wellness from Texas State University. Her research interests (among many others) are issues faced by pregnant and parenting foster youth/alumni, higher education and foster care alumni, aging out youth, and moral development in foster youth and alumni.

In the past, Sheila has taught in higher education for seven years and has worked as a higher education administrator at both The University of Texas at Austin and at Texas State University. Sheila has held many leadership positions in the 501c3 nonprofit Education Reach for Texans that champions post-secondary education success for foster care alumni. She continues to research and support foster alumni in higher education as a former foster care liaison in higher education.

Jennifer Lawson

Director of Research and Evaluation

Jennifer joined TACFS as the Director of Research and Evaluation in May of 2019. Prior to her current position, she held academic positions at Texas State University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned her PhD in Social Welfare. Jennifer has an MSSW in community and administrative practice, and a professional background as a former Child Protective Services caseworker and supervisor in Texas. Her areas of expertise include child welfare services and policy, child exposure to domestic violence, and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

BRENDA KELLER

Director of Clinical Practice Initiatives 

Brenda has been working in the field of social work for over 18 years. She earned her bachelors degree in social work from the University of North Texas and her masters degrees in social work from Eastern Washington University. Brenda has worked in child welfare, hospitals, community mental health, in-patient psychiatric units, Active Duty Military and volunteered in the AmeriCorps. She worked as an Active Duty Clinical Social Worker in the U. S. Air Force with Active Duty service members from all military branches and their families specializing in PTSD, trauma and crisis intervention. She currently serves in the U. S. Air Force Reserves and has her advanced clinical license.

Tara Y. Reed

Community Services Manager

Tara has over 15 years of combined work experience encompassing the administration and delivery of clinical social work programs and services, social work case management, development and implementation of learning community approaches to organizational change and practice improvement and project management. Tara comes to TACFS from the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (IWES), where she served as Program Manager, overseeing the Believe in Youth-Louisiana Program (BY-LA), a project focused on the integration of comprehensive sexual education and mental health services across Southeast Louisiana school districts.   Prior to her employment with IWES, she served as the Behavioral Health Program Manager for the Louisiana Public Health Institute where she worked to create systems of health among education, mental health and substance use/misuse providers, promote and facilitate cross-organizational collaboration and build capacity among LPHI program staff, external partners and clients. 

Tara received her masters degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and holds state licensure in both Texas and Louisiana.  In addition to being an LMSW, Tara holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on Project Management from Texas Womans University.    

Katie Elseth

Continuous Quality Improvement Analyst

Katie joined TACFS as a Continuous Quality Improvement Analyst in April 2019. Katie comes to TACFS from The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) where she served in the Division of Systems Improvement on the DFPS Regional Systems Improvement team. This continuous quality improvement (CQI) team supported CPS regional management in understanding which assets (people, policy, process, etc.) contributed to regional performance and using those assets to address issues before they became crises, create strategic plans, and develop targeted strategies. Katie previously served as a Child Protective Services conservatorship caseworker in Bexar County, as well as the Community Initiative Specialist in Child Protective Services Region 08. She has a BS in Family and Consumer Science from the University of Georgia at Athens, GA and a Master of Social Work with a major in Social Work Administrative Leadership from Texas State University- San Marcos.

Jenn Vigh

Member Services and Communications Specialist

Jenn joined TACFS in May of 2018. She is a 2017 graduate from the University of Georgia, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and two minor degrees in Dancing and Public Health. During her years as a student, she danced and marketed for the university dance department's aerial and contemporary dance company. She also served as the Social Media Expert for the student- run, public relations firm, Creative Consultants during her senior year. Immediately following graduation, Jenn moved to Austin to intern and train with Blue Lapis Light, Austin's site-specific aerial dance company, for the 2017 Summer Season. Ever since, she has been pursuing marketing contract work with Blue Lapis Light along with other aerial and contemporary dance projects. She has loved living in Austin, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the TACFS team and contribute to such an empowering mission!