A vocal drowning-prevention advocate is leaving his post as head of Safe Kids USA.
Alan Korn, executive director and general counsel of the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has announced his departure, effective April 30.
“It’s been 16 years, and everybody gets to a point where they want to start something new … and that’s where I am right now,” he said. “It is completely my decision, but one that I make quite enthusiastically, looking forward to something new in life.”
Safe Kids is an advocacy group visibly attached to entrapment-prevention efforts such as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, and for several years Korn has been the public face of the organization.
An attorney by training, Korn began with Safe Kids in 1994 after a six-year career in civil litigation in St. Louis.
Beginning as a public policy associate, he gradually climbed the ranks to his current status. Korn’s job encompassed a variety of duties, from media appearances to coordinating with other groups to contributing his legal and public policy expertise.
Safe Kids took up the mantle of water safety and entrapment prevention more aggressively about six years ago after Korn met with Nancy Baker, mother of Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year-old entrapment victim for whom the VGB Act is named.
Korn made multiple appearances in the media and testified before the U. S. Senate during hearings for VGB. He also became an Advisory Board member of the Pool Safety Council, a lobbying group composed of safety-product manufacturers that advocates for more stringent laws to prevent entrapment and drownings.
Following Korn’s departure, Safe Kids CEO Mitchell Stoller will manage the organization, and Korn’s duties will be absorbed among the staff of approximately 35. The group’s efforts will include helping the Consumer Product Safety Commission with the public education campaign mandated by VGB.
“Drowning is on the radar screen in a much brighter and focused fashion than it ever has been before,” Korn said. “I’m optimistic that over the next few years we’ll make a huge [difference] in decreasing the number of children who die from it.”
He intends to take at least a portion of the summer off, but cannot discuss his future plans after that. Korn probably will not continue as an Advisory Board member with the Pool Safety Council.