FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2014
Contact: Latoya Foster, 202-207-6418
Bowser Announces Key Appointments to Address Homelessness, Health Needs in DC
Mayor-elect looks to use experienced personnel to help end homelessness in the District by 2025
Washington, DC – Today, Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser announced three key appointments to her Administration to help tackle homelessness and provide critical services to those most in need in the District; Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt as Director of Health (DOH), Laura Zeilinger as Director of Human Services (DHS), and Clinton Lacey as Director of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).
Nesbitt, Zeilinger and Lacey will help newly appointed Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Brenda Donald deliver on Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser’s pledge to end family homelessness by 2018 and overall homelessness in the District by 2025, and improve the health, safety and quality of life for more residents in the District.
As part of that effort, Mayor-elect Bowser discussed how her Administration will identify the resources needed to service the District’s homeless population and detailed how today’s appointments will help achieve that goal.
“LaQuandra, Laura and Clinton bring an extraordinary level of expertise to help address two priorities that will be a hallmark of my Administration: homelessness and our youth. I’m excited they will join a team that is ready to give more residents a fair shot in the District of Columbia,” said Mayor-elect Bowser.
Today’s announcement was made at Miriam’s Kitchen, an organization committed to ending chronic homelessness in the District of Columbia. They advocate for permanent supportive housing as a long-term solution, while meeting short-term needs by providing healthy meals and high-quality social services to more than 4,300 chronically homeless individuals each year.
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, Department of Health
As the next Director of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Nesbitt will be charged with promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing illness and providing equal access to quality healthcare services for all residents of the District of Columbia.
“Health and wellness are my passion and life’s work. To be able to help the District of Columbia improve its overall quality of life is an incredible opportunity. Under Mayor-elect Bowser’s vision, I truly believe we can advance the health of more residents in the nation’s capital,” said Dr. Nesbitt.
Dr. Nesbitt is a board-certified family physician who served as the Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness in Louisville, KY from 2011 to 2014. Prior to her current role at LMPHW, Dr. Nesbitt served separate terms as Senior Deputy Director for the Community Health Administration and Senior Deputy Director for the Center for Policy, Planning, and Evaluation at the District of Columbia Department of Health. In addition to her professional activities, Dr. Nesbitt is a published author and served as an executive editor of Population Health: Management, Policy, and Technology, First Edition.
Dr. Nesbitt received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health in Health Care Management and Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Laura Zeilinger, Director, Department of Human Services
As the next Director of the Department of Human Services, Zeilinger will lead an agency charged with assisting low-income individuals and families to maximize their potential for economic security and self-sufficiency.
“As someone who had dedicated themselves to tackling homelessness, I am excited to be the next Director of the Department of Human Services in DC. If we truly want to reach our full potential as a city, we must continue to address the needs of the least among us. I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Bowser to ensure we are providing more opportunities and services for all Washingtonians,” said Zeilinger.
Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where she was responsible for the implementation of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, an effort that includes the coordination of Federal homelessness policies among 19 Federal departments and agencies, as well as partnerships with State and local communities, non-profits, and the private sector.
Previously, Zeilinger served as Deputy Director for Program Operations for DHS. There, she led the creation of more than 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing as part of the Homeless No More Plan.
Zeilinger is an alumna of Sarah Lawrence College and a graduate of the Washington College of Law at American University.
Clinton Lacey, Director, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
Clinton Lacey will serve as the next Director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. In this role, Lacey will give court-involved youth the opportunity to become productive citizens in the District.
“I am thrilled to have been called upon to lead the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Bowser to see that we are providing opportunities for troubled youth looking for positive change and a path to a better way of life,” said Lacey.
Lacey has over 25 years of experience working with youth and families – 19 of which have been focused in the field of juvenile and criminal justice. From 1992 to 2004, Lacey served as the Associate Executive Director of Friends of Island Academy, developing and managing services for 16 to 24 year olds involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems of New York City. Lacey is an experienced trainer, facilitator and keynote speaker on such issues as racial and ethnic disparity, comprehensive re-entry services, gang intervention strategies, and overall youth and human development.
Lacey has a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Herbert H. Lehman College (City University of New York) and is a graduate of the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia University.
Head shots and biographies will be posted to www.wearewashingtondc.org.