Last Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo announced the appointment of Louisa Chafee to serve as Deputy Secretary for Human Services and Information Technology. She replaces Kristin Proud who was confirmed as Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.


Ms. Chafee will oversee several state agencies, including the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Office of Children and Family Services. She will also oversee the Governor’s enterprise-wide shared services initiatives, including the creation of the Office of Information Technology Services and Technology Procurement Reform.


Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced two appointments at Empire State Development (ESD).  Kay Sarlin Wright, who most recently served as Mayor Bloomberg’s associate commissioner of consumer affairs, and Gerardo Russo, who was a senior policy adviser to Mayor Bloomberg. Ms. Sarlin Wright will serve as Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, and Mr. Russo will serve as Vice President of Communications.


Last Monday, Gov. Cuomo announced that Elizabeth Cronin has been named director of the state Office of Victim Services (OVS). Most recently, Cronin served as the director of the Office of Legal Affairs for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City.


OVS provides crime victims with compensation for counseling, advocacy services and medical care.  Its operations are funded by fines, fees and surcharges paid by certain offenders after conviction in a state or federal court.


He also named Gwen Wright as executive director of the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV).  She has worked at OPDV for 20 years, previously serving as director of human services and prevention. She has also supervised the agency’s training programs and policy development in the areas of child welfare, social services and public benefits, substance abuse and mental health, health care and criminal justice.


OPDV’s responsibility is to improve the response of state and local communities to domestic violence.  The agency provides guidance to Executive staff on policy and legislation; conducts statewide community outreach and public education programs; and trains professionals on addressing domestic violence in a wide array of disciplines, including child welfare, law enforcement and health care.