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Elected Officials, Advocates and Child Welfare Providers Praise Mayor de Blasio's Appointment of David Hansell as ACS Commissioner

February 21, 2017

"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."

"David Hansell is an accomplished leader in the delivery of social services, and a smart, effective manager," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I welcome Commissioner Hansell back to city government and look forward to working with him in his new role." 

“This position requires a unique combination of experience, competency, and compassion," said Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of the General Welfare Committee. "David Hansell fits the bill on all three points. His experience shows that he has real applicable relevant skills in managing a large agency like ACS. I'm confident David is up to the task, and I look forward to working together in support of our City's children."

“The Administration for Children’s Services is a crucial agency, protecting hundreds of thousands of New York City children each year. I welcome the opportunity to work with Commissioner David Hansell to ensure that programs are properly funded and the agency can successfully meet its mandate,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Committee on Finance.

"The de Blasio administration has made a quality selection in David Hansell to lead such an important agency," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "Through years of experience serving and advocating for those in need, Mr. Hansell has proven capable of leading large scale operations and this is the leadership we need to protect our city's most vulnerable residents."

“David Hansell is a natural fit to lead ACS. With exemplary experience in both the private and public sector, including his role in the Obama administration, David has all the tools necessary to shape and guide ACS for the foreseeable future,” said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile.

“The Administration for Children and Families is tasked with an incredibly difficult job, entrusted with the care of some of the City’s most vulnerable children. I welcome David Hansell as the new ACS commissioner. I am impressed by his qualifications and look forward to working with him,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik.

“I’m thrilled with the appointment of David Hansell to lead the Administration for Children’s Services,” said Council Member James Vacca. “David Hansell is one of the most qualified individuals to deal with the critical issues currently facing ACS. He will utilize both his public and private sector managerial experience to bring new ideas and revitalize the agency. I look forward to working with him.”

“At Win, we’ve worked with David Hansell over the years with one goal: protecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Christine C. Quinn, President and CEO of Win, formerly Women in Need, the city’s largest provider of shelter and support services for homeless women and their children. “We know him as a fierce advocate for homeless kids, and we are confident he has the management experience to turn ACS around. David has brought depth of knowledge and commitment to decades of senior government and advocacy positions and insisted on change in HIV and AIDS treatment models through direct activism, and we applaud the Mayor for this appointment. On a personal note, I’ve known David for years and have great respect for him - and I’m looking forward to partnering with him to implement the changes in policy that will ensure that ACS delivers on its promise to kids and families.”

Former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. said: “David Hansell is the right man at the right time to bring back the kind of accountability for kids in need to this troubled agency, as we did together years ago when I was Speaker, for the police using Compstat to make this the safest big city in the nation. We have to do no less for needy kids in danger, and I applaud the mayor for choosing David Hansell.”

Anthony Wells, President of Social Services Employees Union, Local 371 said, “David is a good choice. My experience with him has always been positive. I think we will work well together to address the issues at ACS. With the right support, things can improve.”

"I am confident that the City of New York, and more importantly, the children of New York will be ably served by David Hansell, a tested and proven leader in human services and government," said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of FPWA. "I look forward to working with Commissioner Hansell and the Administration to help ensure that our most vulnerable children are kept safe, and that their families and human services workers are supported to care for them.” 

Community Service Society President and CEO David R. Jones said: “It’s often said that the true measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. One of this city’s biggest challenges is protecting children from abuse and neglect. Simply put, we have to do better when it comes to ensuring that child welfare workers on the front lines have the resources, supervision and support they need to perform their jobs. In choosing David Hansell to lead the City’s Administration for Children’s Services the mayor has selected a seasoned manager who understands how relevant government agencies interact, and that there is no higher priority than the safety of the city’s children.”

Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens' Committee for Children said, “Citizens' Committee for Children looks forward to working together with the new Administration for Children's Services Commissioner, David Hansell. His previous management and child and family policy experience at the federal, state and local level are assets which should positively inform his work with the children and families served by ACS.”

“We congratulate Mayor de Blasio and Davis Hansell on this appointment. Mr. Hansell is known as a first rate leader and as someone who cares deeply about the people his agency serves. We look forward to working closely with him at ACS,” said Jim Purcell, CEO of the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies.

Casey Family Programs' President and CEO William C. Bell said, “New York ACS has been a model of large system child welfare reform. Leadership transitions are always difficult but Mayor de Blasio is to be congratulated for the selection of David Hansell as the ACS Commissioner. Mr. Hansell is familiar with the City and has had a very distinguished career at both a Federal and Local level that prepares him for the challenges of administering such an important agency. Casey Family Programs stands ready to continue our support of the important improvements in child protection services that the City is committed to and the new leadership is prepared to deliver.”

Bill Baccaglini, President and CEO of The New York Foundling said, “David Hansell has had a remarkable career and is held in very high regard by the human services community. I have no doubt he will be a bold and visionary leader at ACS and the NY Foundling looks forward to working with him to ensure the well-being of all children and families in our City.”

“David Hansell is a seasoned leader with a track record of strengthening services for children and supporting families at every level of government. We are thrilled that he is returning to New York City in this important capacity and stand ready to work with Commissioner Hansell and ACS to ensure quality services for New York City’s children,” said Susan Stamler, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses.

GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie said, “GMHC fully supports Mayor de Blasio’s appointment of David Hansell as Commissioner of the New York City Administration of Children’s Services (ACS). His reputation as a fierce advocate for comprehensive social services and his vast experience in City, State and Federal government will serve him well in this vital role and bring added strength to the ACS. GMHC is proud of David’s leadership and activism on HIV issues while serving at our agency during the 1980’s and 90’s, which led to his impressive work at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and Human Resources Administration (HRA), where he proactively addressed the needs of individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. As Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration for Children and Families in the Obama Administration, David advocated for federal child welfare and early childhood education- the core work of ACS. David is the perfect choice to be charged with protecting our city’s most vulnerable children.”

“David Hansell is an exceptional choice for ACS Commissioner,” said Dr. Jeremy Kohomban, President and Chief Executive of The Children's Village and Harlem Dowling. “He is a strong manager, an experienced professional who understands child safety and family support, and he has a firm grasp of the issues facing children and families in NYC – qualities that will serve ACS and our sector well.”

"Mayor de Blasio has made an excellent choice in appointing David Hansell as Commissioner for the Administration for Children's Services,” said Jess Danhauser, President & CEO of Graham Windham. “David's intelligence, integrity, experience and commitment to New Yorkers in need make him the right person to lead this vital work for NYC's children and families."

“We look forward to working with David, who brings to his new position not only a lifelong commitment of service to our City's most vulnerable residents, but also a deep understanding of the challenges facing the nonprofit providers whose work is so critical to ACS's mission of protecting children and stabilizing families,” said Marla G. Simpson, President & Executive Director of Brooklyn Community Services.

"We applaud Mayor de Blasio for appointing David Hansell as the next Commissioner of ACS," said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. "David is a long-time advocate for low-income children and families across generations, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with ACS to ensure culturally competent, linguistically appropriate programs are available for underserved families."

Jacquelyn Kilmer, Esq., Chief Executive Officer of Harlem United said, “Throughout his career, David Hansell has been a committed and tireless advocate for vulnerable populations, working to improve the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS, and poor and working class individuals, families and children. His dedication coupled with his strong management expertise make David uniquely qualified to lead ACS. We applaud the Mayor’s choice and congratulate David on this new chapter in his professional life.”

“I am hopeful that David Hansell will continue his stellar career and improve the critically important work of ACS. I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s decision,” said James Matison, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society.

“In the nearly 20 years I have known David Hansell, I have admired his intelligence, warmth, his focus and determination,” Phillip Saperia, former CEO of The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies said. “As an informed administrator, he is a sterling choice for ACS Commissioner. He knows both government and the private sector from the inside. David is a great manager as well as visionary. The Mayor could not have made a better choice!”

“I have had the opportunity to work with, and observe David Hansell’s outstanding managerial success for over two decades. David is an extraordinarily talented leader with a penchant for taking on tough, non-glamorous bureaucracies. He has the skill, temperament, and vision to make truly tough decisions,” said Dr. Marjorie J. Hill, CEO of the Addabbo Family Health Center, and former CEO of GMHC. “New York City’s most vulnerable children are in excellent hands.”

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