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Mayor de Blasio Appoints David Hansell Commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services

February 21, 2017

Former Obama Administration official to lead ACS, deepen agency’s mission to protect NYC’s most vulnerable children

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed David Hansell Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Hansell, a skilled manager with decades of experience overseeing large-scale agencies and delivering effective social services for at-risk communities, comes to ACS after a nearly five-year tenure as Managing Director and head of the Global Human & Social Services Center of Excellence at KPMG.

Hansell has built a reputation as a proven manager with a data-driven focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations, especially at-risk families and children. Hansell has worked at the national, state and local levels in child welfare and social services, including prior service in the New York City government in the Department of Health and the Human Resources Administration, in addition to his experience in the private and non-profit sectors.

“Our most solemn responsibility is to provide vulnerable children with the care and support they deserve,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “David Hansell understands this mission deeply – and that’s why I know he’s the right choice to lead ACS and implement an aggressive reform agenda focused on preventive services for kids and families. David has spent his career on the frontlines working with at-risk communities, and I have no doubt he’ll tackle this job with the same focus and intensity that’s defined his career.”

“David Hansell has dedicated his career to uplifting some of our most vulnerable populations, including at-risk children, low-income families, and New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “He’s a skilled manager with exactly the type of experience and vision needed to lead a complex child welfare agency like ACS. I know he’ll be a tenacious advocate for the welfare of children across the City, and couldn’t be prouder to bring him onto our team.”

“I am honored to lead ACS at this critical time, and confident that my long-term experience in government well-prepared me to strengthen ACS’ mission and programs,” said Administration for Children's Services Commissioner David A. Hansell. “Under my leadership, ACS will continue implementation of needed reforms to better protect and serve our most vulnerable children and families throughout New York City.”

"David was a valued member of my original Senior leadership team at HHS in the Obama Administration,” said Kathleen Sebelius, former U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services. “During his tenure at the Administration for Children and Families, we took important steps to strengthen the Head Start program, enhance efforts to achieve permanency and stability for children in foster care around the country, and rescue hundreds of orphans imperiled by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. These and many other accomplishments speak to David's broad policy knowledge and proven management skills. I applaud Mayor de Blasio's decision to tap him for this critical assignment."

The de Blasio administration has invested over $122 million in new funding to strengthen the child welfare system. Currently, fewer than 10,000 children are in foster care – the lowest number in decades – due to better child protective investigations, more preventive services and improvements in foster care practices. During 2015, more than 46,000 children received preventive services, creating a universe of 22,000 families benefiting from preventive services during that year. In 2016, ACS hired more than 600 new Child Protective Specialists to increase staffing for those dedicated workers who carry out the critical work of responding and investigating reports of child abuse or neglect.

Hansell will begin his position at the Administration for Children’s Services on March 6, 2017.

About David Hansell

David Hansell is an accomplished manager with decades of experience in social services work across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Since 2012, Hansell has been a Managing Director at KPMG, and served as head of its Global Human & Social Services Center of Excellence. In this position, Hansell expanded advisory relationship with government agencies both in the U.S. and across the world, with a focus on social service delivery in areas such as child welfare, income security, nutritional support, and employment training. He previously served as a consultant to the non-profit Case Commons, Inc., where he helped further the use of Casebook, a collaborative, family-centered case management system for child welfare work.

From 2009 to 2011, Hansell served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At HHS, Hansell helped oversee a division with an approximately $50 billion annual budget and managed a staff of approximately 1,400 employees across headquarters and ten regional offices. His areas of responsibilities included child welfare, economic support, early childhood education, and special population programs. In his role, Hansell helped implement the “Fostering Connections to Success Act”, which incentivized state child welfare systems to create new kinship care arrangements, improve services for older foster care youth, and enhance educational continuity for children in the foster care system.

In 2007, Hansell was appointed by former New York State Governor Elliot Spitzer as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, becoming the first openly gay man to become a commissioner in the state of New York. For the next three years, he oversaw a roughly $5 billion budget, with responsibility for administering New York State’s public assistance, food stamp, child support, and homeless housing programs, among others. He supervised a staff of approximately 2,400 employees, spanning offices in Albany, New York City, and across the state. In this position, Hansell helped achieve an all-time high level of household participation through the Working Families Food Stamp Initiative and helped reform New York State’s child support programs to heighten compliance and increase payments to custodial parents and children.

From 2002 to 2006, Hansell served as Chief of Staff of the New York City Human Resources Administration under Commissioner Verna Eggleston. He has also held a variety of roles in the New York City Department of Health, including Associate Commissioner of Planning and Program Implementation (2000) and Associate Commissioner of HIV Services (1997 to 2000). As part of his HIV treatment and prevention work, Hansell managed a portfolio of over $100 million in medical care and social support programs.

Hansell has served as a consultant to several non-profit, government, and philanthropic organizations on a diverse array of health and social services policy and advocacy issues. From 1998 to 1994, he served in various roles as an advocate and activist during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including Director of Legal Services and Deputy Executive Director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which served as the largest privately-run AIDS services agency in New York. Early in his career, he served as an Associate at Berle, Kass & Case, specializing in environmental and land use law, and as a law clerk for Judge Irving R. Kaufman of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a former aide to U.S. Senators Donald Riegle, Jr. and Carl Levin and began his career as a sixth grade teacher in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hansell, 63, received his JD from Yale Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Haverford College with a BA in Psychology.

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