Meet the Management Advisory Council Officers
Jeri D. Beckford, JD
Jeri D. Beckford currently works for the Department of Transportation as an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist II in its Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
Jeri’s tendency to champion the underdog naturally lead her to pursue a career in civil rights advocacy. Her twelve (12) years of public service for the State of Connecticut began working for the oldest civil rights agency in America, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). Within one year of joining the CHRO Affirmative Action/Contract Compliance Unit, Jeri redesigned and revitalized the enforcement of Connecticut’s dormant supplier diversity set-aside statutes. Jeri’s work at CHRO strengthened the participation of Connecticut’s small, ethnic minority, women and disabled owed business enterprises working on state-funded construction projects. While at CHRO, Jeri received her Mediation Certification and began assisting the CHRO legal department with the negotiation and mediation of employment discrimination complaints.
Jeri’s career ascended to the ranks of state management when she accepted a promotion to work at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in its Affirmative Action Office (DMHAS AAO). There, Jeri spent her days updating the agency’s anti-discrimination policies, writing the agency’s Affirmative Action Plan, and investigating employee-initiated discrimination complaints (including ADA and sexual harassment). After two years with the DMHAS AAO, Jeri accepted another promotion to work at the Department of Children and Families in its Office of Diversity and Equity (DCF ODE). While at the DCF ODE, Jeri coached and trained agency administrators and their employees in federal and state affirmative action and equal employment opportunity mandated compliance matters; sexual harassment prevention; Title IX; minority recruitment and retention; and best practices in creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable work environment for the state’s workforce.
Jeri has a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) in Sociology (with a Criminology emphasis) from the University of Denver in Colorado, and a Juris Doctor (JD) from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut.
When not overseeing the implementation and compliance of civil rights within the State’s business and employment practices, Jeri and her family can be found on a flight to visit her childhood home located in Denver, Colorado.
Nicholas Jerard the Assistant Chief of Finance for the Department of Developmental Services. His current assignments include overseeing DDS’ Medicaid Rate Setting and Billing operations as well as DDS’ Payroll Division.
Nick holds a Master’s in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Nick started his State service with DDS in 2014 as an Accounting Careers Trainee.
Kristin Karr, JD, MLIS
Kristin Karr is the Publications Division Manager at the Office of the Secretary of the State. Her division is responsible for the state-of-the-art Connecticut eRegulations ("eRegs") System as well as the venerable 130-year-old Connecticut State Register & Manual. Kristin is a Midwest native; she received her BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her MLIS from The University of Iowa, and her JD from the University of Denver. She has been serving Connecticut at the Office of the Secretary of the State since 2015.
Janice B. Deshais, Esq.
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Janice has been the Director of Adjudications at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for 20 years. She conducts hearings and mediates settlements in environmental permit cases and appeals of enforcement orders. A native of Connecticut, she received her BA in History and Political Science from the University of St. Joseph (formerly St. Joseph College) in West Hartford and her JD from Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts. She also has an MA in public policy from Trinity College in Hartford and is a certified mediator. She is the Immediate Past President of the National Association of Hearing Officials, a national training and advocacy group for administrative hearing professionals.