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The following individuals serve on the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children.  Members have the option of designating a designee for their position on the task force:

Children’s Protective Services

Member: Vannessa L. Dorantes, LMSW has worked for the State of CT’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) since 1992 after receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Teikyo Post University. She later earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the UCONN School of Social Work where she majored in Casework and Community Organization.  Within DCF, she has held just about every position in the Social Work job class series and represented DCF on the Governor's Task Force on Justice for Abused Children (GTFJAC) for several years. In 2014, she was appointed as Regional Administrator to CT DCF’s Region 5. Region 5, is the state’s northwest corner that encompasses 43 diverse cities and towns. Dorantes also served as a tri-chair of DCF’s Statewide Racial Justice Workgroup and has chronicled the Department’s journey in two national webinar series.
In 2019, Dorantes proudly accepted Governor Ned Lamont’s appointment and was confirmed as the state of Connecticut Dept of Children & Families' Commissioner. The Department’s 3,200 staff members across 17 locations interface with 14,500 families on any given day. As Commissioner, Dorantes co-Chairs the CT Alcohol and Drug Policy Council (ADPC) and is a tri-Chair of the Women and Girls Council - Health and Safety Subcommittee. 

Designee: Tammy M. Sneed is the Program Director for the Office of Human Trafficking Services, Clinical & Community Consultation & Support Team for the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Over the last 30-years, Tammy has focused her efforts on  Female-Responsive Programming for adolescent girls, with a micro-focus on programming for girls in the legal system.  She has developed and implemented a training model educating local and state police departments on how to work with adolescent girls with a focus on trauma; resulting in significant arrest reductions. As the lead of the Girls' Provider Network, she has lead DCF in the development of a set of female-responsive program guidelines to guide providers in working with adolescent girls.  Also a foster/ adoptive mother she has developed specialized training for mentors, foster and adoptive parents, and served as a mentor for forever families parenting adolescent girls.  Over the last 12 years, Tammy has refined her focus on a national crisis, child trafficking.  Tammy directs Connecticut's HART (Human Anti-trafficking Response Team) with a focus on the eradication of child trafficking in Connecticut. Tammy tri-chairs the Governor's Task Force on Justice for Abused Children; with oversight of the 17 Multidisciplinary Teams and 10 Children's Advocacy Centers across Connecticut charged with investigating and responding to cases of severe physical and sexual abuse of children including child trafficking.
Division of Criminal Justice
Member: Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. was sworn in as Chief State's Attorney on January 31, 2020. As Chief State's Attorney, he is the chief law enforcement officer of the State of Connecticut and administrative head of the Division of Criminal Justice, the independent agency in the executive branch of state government that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all criminal matters in Connecticut. A career prosecutor, Chief State's Attorney Colangelo joined the Division of Criminal Justice in March 1993 and served in various capacities until he was appointed State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk on July 1, 2015. He has tried all types of major felony cases and has been intricately involved in criminal investigations and criminal justice education.
Chief State's Attorney Colangelo is a graduate of Norwalk State Technical College (A.S.M.E. 1986), the University of Connecticut (B.S.M.E. 1989), and the Quinnipiac School of Law (J.D. 1992). He has taught in the Connecticut community college system, the University of New Haven and the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover, Alabama. Attorney Colangelo is Chairman of the State Board of Examiners for Psychologists, Chairman of the Easton Police Commission, President of the Human Services Council Board of Directors in Norwalk, a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Redding-Easton Board of Directors, and a member of the Eyewitness Identification Task Force.
Designee: Kevin D. Lawlor is the Deputy Chief State’s Attorney for the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice.  Before he was appointed Deputy Chief, Attorney Lawlor was the Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney for twelve years. A prosecutor since 1995, he distinguished himself early in his career by working with the Milford Multi-Jurisdictional Team for the Investigation of Child Sexual Abuse and successfully convicted many of this District’s most serious sex offenders.  He also helped to create and supervise the Neighborhood Prosecution Program in the City of West Haven.  The Neighborhood Prosecution Program was a federally funded initiative in West Haven which was designed to reduce teen crime and improve the quality of life for the citizens of West Haven.  He is a Tri-Chair of the Governor’s Task Force Justice for Abused Children, a founding member of the Division of the Criminal Justice Diversity Committee, Past President of the Division of Criminal Justice State’s Attorney’s Advisory Board, a former member of the Governing Council for the South Central Child Advocacy Center and he is the former President of the Board of Directors of Guardian Ad Litem Services, a Naugatuck Valley non-profit agency that attempts to improve the quality of life for the chronically mentally ill.  He also volunteers to speak to area youth in coordination with the Milford Bar Association, the North Haven Board of Education, and other community organizations about criminal justice issues and the legal profession.
State’s Attorney Lawlor is a graduate of East Haven High School, the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University School of Law.  He teaches several criminal justice courses in the Legal Studies Department at Quinnipiac University and has also taught graduate-level seminars in Evidence and Legal Aspects of Arson Investigation at the University of New Haven.  He also serves as an MPTC certified instructor for the West Haven Police Department, the South Central Criminal Justice Administration, and the Milford Police Academy. 
Attorney Lawlor is the 2006 recipient of the Connecticut Children’s Alliance Certificate of Appreciation for his commitment to advocating through prosecution for the victims of child sexual abuse, the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Bridgeport N.A.A.C.P., a 2009 inductee of the East Haven High School Hall of Fame, the recipient of the 2013 New Haven Knights of St. Patrick Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, the 2013 District Attorney Award from the University of New Haven, Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science and the 2014 Irish Echo Law and Order 50 Award.
Connecticut Children’s Alliance
Child Advocacy Centers/Multidisciplinary Teams
Member: Krystal Rich is the Director of the Connecticut Children's Alliance (CCA), a statewide membership organization founded to provide support to Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) and Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) across Connecticut through education, training, and resources. The State Director of CCA serves as a Tri-Chair of the GTF.  CCA’s mission is to avail comprehensive statewide services to all child victims and their families through collaboration, systemic change, public awareness, and legislative advocacy. Currently, Ms. Rich chairs the NCAtrak Subcommittee and co-chairs the MDT Evaluation and the Finding Words Committees of GTF. Prior to coming to CCA, Krystal worked for the Sexual Assault Crisis Service in New Britain, one of CONNSACS nine-member centers, where she provided crisis counseling and advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Krystal holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
Judicial Branch, Superior Court for Juvenile Matters
Civil/Criminal Court Judge (Connecticut does not delineate between civil and criminal)
Member: The Honorable Patrick L. Carroll III practiced law in Fairfield, CT for seventeen years before he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court in 1996.  Since his appointment, Judge Carroll has served in Norwalk, Danbury, Waterbury, Milford, Derby, and Bridgeport handling civil, family, housing, and criminal matters.  He served for five years as Administrative Judge for the Judicial District of Danbury and his most recent assignment on the bench was as the Presiding Judge for Criminal Matters in the Bridgeport GA.  Judge Carroll served as Deputy Chief Court Administrator of the Judicial Branch from September 1, 2007 through September 30, 2013.  Chief Justice Rogers appointed Judge Carroll as Chief Court Administrator effective October 1, 2013.
Designee: Tasha Hunt is the Deputy Director of Juvenile Probation for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division.  She started her career with the Judicial Branch more than 20 years ago as a Juvenile Probation Officer and has held several positions including Juvenile Probation Supervisor and Regional Manager.   In her current role as Deputy Director, Ms. Hunt manages the staff and operations of the twelve Juvenile Probation offices across Connecticut.  She is committed to the integration of effective practices in probation field offices to ensure positive outcomes for court-involved youth and has played an integral role in the state’s efforts to reform the juvenile justice system.  She also serves as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Interstate Compact on Juveniles in her official capacity.
Ms. Hunt represents the agency on several statewide committees including the Connecticut Judicial Branch Human Capital Implementation Committee, Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Incarceration Workgroup, and Youth Homelessness Systems Task Force. Ms. Hunt earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science Degree in Education from Southern Connecticut State University.  She is also an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven in the Criminal Justice Department.
Member: The Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook was appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court in February 2009. Judge Westbrook received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1992. She graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee in 1995 and was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1999.


Former Governor M. Jodi Rell nominated Judge Westbrook to the bench on Feb. 2, 2009, and she was sworn in on Feb. 26, 2009. Since then, she has served at Hartford’s Geographical Area No. 14 Courthouse and Manchester’s Geographical Area No. 12 Courthouse.  She also has served in Hartford’s Family Court. In 2013, Judge Westbrook was assigned to the Rockville Courthouse for Juvenile Matters, where she remains. In September 2017, she became administrative judge for the Tolland Judicial District; Judge Westbrook was named Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters, effective Sept. 6, 2021.

Judge Westbrook worked as a solo practitioner in Middletown and Glastonbury (August 2003-2009). She also served as Assistant Commission Counsel for the State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (April 1997-September 2000); a member of the State Grievance Panel (2007-2009); a board member of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (2007-2009); and as Legal Redress Counsel for the Connecticut chapter of the NAACP (2005-2009).

Before and after she became a judge, Judge Westbrook served as a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s Public Service and Trust Commission (2007-2009). As a judge, she chairs the judges’ Education Committee and serves as a member of the Client Security Fund, the Connecticut Bar Foundation, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Board of Directors, and the Judicial-Media Committee. Judge Westbrook remains active with non-judicial organizations as well, including as a board member for the Harriet Beecher Stowe House; vice president of the Farmington Valley Links, Incorporated, a member of the NAACP; a member of the Greater Hartford Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc.; and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Designee: Cynthia L. Cunningham, Esq. - Chief Clerk for Juvenile Matters in the Court Operations Division of the Judicial Branch since 2000; previously served as Clerk of the Juvenile Court in New Haven from June 1996 through December 1999.  Currently acts as the primary liaison between the Juvenile Court and the Department and Children and Families.
Child Advocates/Attorneys for Children
Office of the Child Advocate
Member: Sarah Eagan has served as Connecticut’s Child Advocate since September 2013. As Child Advocate, Sarah sets priority reviews for the Office of the Child Advocate and publishes information and recommendations to improve the safety and well-being of children. As the State’s Child Advocate Sarah has participated in drafting and seeking passage of statutory reforms on behalf of vulnerable children, including improving services for children with developmental disabilities, reducing reliance on restraint and seclusion of children, and improving the safety net for abused and neglected children in foster care. Prior to this appointment, Sarah served for several years as the Director of the Child Abuse Project at the Center for Children's Advocacy in Hartford, Connecticut. During her years at the Center, Sarah provided legal representation to children and worked to ensure that abused, neglected or special-needs children receive the safety, emotional support, services, and education that they need and deserve.
Designee: Faith Vos Winkel, MSW joined the Office of the Child Advocate in July 2001.  Faith serves as the lead for the OCA on matters relating to child fatality review and prevention.  She convenes the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel (CFRP) each month, which reviews all unexpected and unexplained child deaths.  Faith is the Child Advocate's principal investigator on any in-depth child fatality investigation requested by the CFRP, the Governor, and the General Assembly or conducted at the Child Advocate's discretion. Child fatality reviews focus on the examination of systems and opportunities to improve policies and practices to prevent additional tragedies from occurring.  Faith's focus on prevention includes providing training as well as participating in many statewide groups including the Statewide Suicide Advisory Board, the Domestic Fatality Review Board, the Teen Safe Driving Partnership, Maternal Child Health Coalition, the Trafficking in Persons Council, the Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioners Teen Driving Advisory Committee, Prevent Child Abuse American-CT Chapter. Faith has also been involved in numerous child death review initiatives on a national level, including serving on the Advisory Committee to the National Center for the Prevention of Child Death Review. Prior to working at OCA, Faith worked at the State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities for 15 years, advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities.  Faith holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Social Work from the University Of Connecticut School Of Social Work.
Office of the Chief Public Defender
Member: Christine Perra Rapillo, Esq. is the Chief Public Defender for the State of Connecticut. Before assuming this position, Attorney Rapillo served as the Director of Juvenile Delinquency Defense and Child Protection and also supervised the Hartford Juvenile Court Public Defender’s Office for 11 years.  Attorney Rapillo spent several years as a public defender in adult court, trying cases at all levels. Attorney Rapillo has also previously served on the GTF Executive Committee and the Committee on Child Representation along with numerous other state boards and councils in the area of juvenile justice and child protection.
Designee: Susan I. Hamilton, MSW, JD is the Director of Juvenile Delinquency Defense and Child Protection.  She administers the Juvenile Unit of the Office of Chief Public Defender, which provides attorneys for all children in child protection matters, indigent children in delinquency, and certain child custody cases, indigent parents in child protection matters and counsel for parents in certain paternity and support enforcement actions. Before joining the Division of Public Defender Services, Attorney Hamilton served in various positions at the Department of Children and Families, including Commissioner from 2007-2011, and also represented parents and children in child protection and family cases while in private practice.


Office of the Attorney General
Member: William Tong is the 25th Attorney General to serve Connecticut since the office was established in 1897.  He took office on January 9, 2019, as the first Asian American elected at the statewide level, in Connecticut.
Before he was elected Attorney General, Tong served for 12 years in Connecticut’s General Assembly representing the 147th District, which includes North Stamford and Darien. Most recently, Tong served as House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In this position, Tong was responsible for all legislation related to constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights, consumer protection, probate, judicial nominations and the Judicial branch, and major areas of substantive law. During his service in the legislature, Tong led to the passage of landmark legislation, including the Connecticut Second Chance Act, Domestic Violence Restraining Order Act, Lost and Stolen Firearms Act, the Act Protecting Homeowner Rights, and the Act Protecting Schoolchildren.
A Connecticut native, Tong grew up in the Hartford area and attended schools in West Hartford. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, Brown University, and the University of Chicago Law School. He has practiced law for the last 18 years as a litigator in both state and federal courts, first at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, in New York City and for the past 15 years at Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, in Stamford. Tong is the oldest of five children and grew up working side-by-side with his immigrant parents in their family’s Chinese restaurant. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Stamford with their three children and too many pets to count.
Designee: Stephen Vitelli
Office of Victim Services
Member: Linda Cimino has served as the Director of the Office of Victim Services (OVS) since January 2000. During her tenure, all of the written publications have been redesigned for consistency in look and text. Ms. Cimino serves on several statewide committees and task forces. Ms. Cimino served as an adjunct lecturer at the University of New Haven during the fall semesters of 2002-2005. Currently, Ms. Cimino teaches an undergraduate class at Capital Community College. For both institutions, she taught sections of Victimology. Prior to her tenure at OVS, Ms. Cimino was the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for five years and served as the Executive Director of Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis from 1988 - 1995. Ms. Cimino's early career was spent at the New Haven YWCA in the capacities of Public Relations Coordinator and Associate Executive Director and as the Executive Director of the Suzuki Music School.
Designee: Koren Butler-Kurth has worked for the Office of Victim Services since 2002, and currently holds the position of Victim Services Supervisor.  Ms. Butler-Kurth and her co-supervisor, supervise thirty-four victim services advocates, who provide services to victims in Connecticut’s criminal and civil courts, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and OVS’ central office. Before her work for the State of Connecticut, Koren worked as a victim services coordinator and bereavement counselor in Massachusetts, counseling victims, and survivors and guiding them through criminal and civil court procedures.  Koren holds a Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.
Office of the Victim Advocate
Member: Natasha M. Pierre serves as the State Victim Advocate and acts as the ombudsman for victims of crime within the criminal justice system and evaluates the delivery of state services to victims. Responsibilities also include recommending system-wide improvements to the General Assembly, working with private and public agencies to enforce the constitutional rights of victims, and filing appearances in court to advocate for victims.

Before being appointed as the State Victim Advocate, Attorney Pierre was the Policy & Legislative Director for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and an attorney at Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. and Western Massachusetts Legal Services, Inc., where she practiced family and housing law. She earned a B.A. from the University of Connecticut with a major in Women’s Studies and a dual-degree in law and social work from the University of Connecticut’s Schools of Law and Social Work. She was awarded the Connecticut Law Tribune’s New Leaders of the Law Award and has had articles written about her in the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., a public service sorority.

Designee: Hakima Bey-Coon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall Law School. After earning her law degree, Attorney Bey-Coon served a judicial clerkship under the Honorable Kevin G. Callahan, J.S.C., in the New Jersey Superior Court-Criminal Division. Over the next several years Attorney Bey-Coon served as a staff attorney at Hudson County Legal Services in Jersey City, New Jersey where she represented indigent clients in housing matters and as a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office where she prosecuted professional licensing cases. After serving several years in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Attorney Bey-Coon began practicing law at Maya & Associates, P.C. in Westport, Connecticut.  Thereafter, Attorney Bey-Coon joined the Office of the Victim Advocate in March 2006. Attorney Bey-Coon serves on the Training Committee of the Task Force. Attorney Bey-Coon is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, an international service organization.

Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Member: Josiah H. Brown is founding executive director of CASA of Southern Connecticut, part of the state and national CASA networks, through which volunteers are recruited, screened, trained, and supported as court-appointed special advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.  Previously, he was the first associate director of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, and previously chief of staff to the president of the New School in New York City.  In earlier roles, Josiah was an aide to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and to the director of a center at Columbia University.  He worked for UConn Upward Bound and has volunteered with various urban youth organizations and public schools. A former president of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, he chairs the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven. He has a B.A. from Yale and a master’s in public policy from Harvard.
Advocate for Children with Disabilities
Member: Mark Hedick is the Senior Director of Oak Hill Centers at Oak Hill, the largest disability services agency in Connecticut.


Adult Survivor/Former Victim of Child Abuse and/or Neglect
Member: Alison Johnson is a consultant to nonprofit coalitions in the areas of public policy, state budget analysis, and coalition building. Alison has been in private practice since 1997. She is experienced working with networks of leaders to help them move an agenda forward, including serving as the Chair of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA). From 1990-1997 she was the Director of the Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet, a collaborative of twenty of Connecticut’s leading associations, coalitions, and statewide human service providers. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Alison is based in Middletown, Connecticut where she served as a head Moderator for primary and general elections in the city.

Alison is a survivor of long-term child sexual abuse. She has served on the Victim/Survivor Advisory Council (VSAC) for the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence since its inception in 1995. In 2013, she worked with the Alliance as a consultant to design a curriculum for the training of law enforcement officers on sexual assault. Alison was also the Project Manager for a federal US Department of Justice project on confidentiality for the Alliance from 2001- 2005. Alison has served on the Advisory Board of the Aetna Foundation Children’s Center at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She has also participated in conferences for Safety Net: The National Safe and Strategic Technology Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and presented on health literacy.

Parent Representative
Member: Nancy Nesbitt is the Director of School Engagement for Project Lead The Way, working with school districts in CT, NY, and RI, to promoting STEM education. Previously, she worked for Webster Bank, starting the commercial bank's specialty focus on serving not-for-profit organizations with tailored banking and investment services, and later handled the banking relationships for a large portfolio of not-for-profit and government entities.  Before Webster, Nancy worked in non-profit management for over six years, with a strong focus on working with various communities and state agencies promoting economic and community development. Previously, Nancy spent over 15 years developing commercial real estate on behalf of developers and major retailers, covering territories in New England and Northern California. 
Ms. Nesbitt holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a BGS, magna cum laude, from the University of Connecticut.  She was an adjunct professor for over six years at Central Connecticut State University, teaching marketing courses.  Nancy currently serves on the New England’s Knowledge Corridor Advisory Board and the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She previously served on:  the Connecticut Women’s Council (Past President);  the Advisory Board for the University of Connecticut’s Program on Nonprofit Leadership and Strategic Networks; InternHere.com (Board President, 12 years); Board of Directors of Special Olympics Connecticut (was Chair of the Development Committee in 2006 and 2007); and the Capital Workforce Partners Board of Directors. Nancy is the mother of three children who are survivors of sexual assault and exposure.
Member: Margaret M. Doherty, Executive Director of Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families (CAFAF).  Ms. Doherty earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Business Administration, and a Juris Doctorate.  Ms. Doherty was appointed Executive Director of the Connecticut Alliance of Foster & Adoptive Families in December 2012.  As a foster and adoptive parent as well as in her professional capacity, Ms. Doherty and her staff provide education, training, support, and advocacy for foster, adoptive and relative caregivers throughout Connecticut.  Ms. Doherty and her staff work collaboratively with the Department of Children and Families, child welfare professionals, and the community regarding issues of importance for the families who serve Connecticut’s most vulnerable children.  Foster, adoptive, and kinship parents require specialized training and support while they strive to nurture and care for the traumatized children entrusted to their care.  As a member of the Governor’s Task Force, she brings the needs of parents and children to other members of the task force.  Ms. Doherty previously served as Chair of the task force’s Training Committee.
Mental Health Professionals
State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)
Member: Nancy Navarretta, MA, LPC, NCC is the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Addition Services (DMHAS).  Ms. Navarretta has extensive experience in public and private program development, strategic planning, leadership, and process improvement resulting in the delivery of effective, recovery-oriented, and integrated healthcare systems.  In June 2021, she was appointed as Acting Commissioner of DMHAS, an adult behavioral healthcare and lifespan prevention agency serving over 100,000 individuals annually.  Ms. Navarretta prioritizes accessible, integrated behavioral health systems of care which are informed by multiple stakeholders including individuals with lived experience. She served as Deputy Commissioner of the department from 2015 – 2021 and was responsible for project management and strategic planning as part of executive leadership while managing several divisions/initiatives including evidenced-based practices supporting the recovery of individuals living with mental illness and the state’s opioid response efforts.  Ms. Navarretta began public service with DMHAS in 2013 as the Department’s Director of Behavioral Health Services.  In that capacity a number of divisions within the Office of the Commissioner reported to her, including Community Services, Managed Services, Evidenced Based Practices, Veteran’s Services, Research, and Statewide Services which include Long Term Services and Supports, Problem Gambling Services, Housing and Homeless Services, Older Adult Services, Special Education and Women’s Services.  

Ms. Navarretta came to the Department with many years of experience as a direct service mental health and addictions provider and behavioral healthcare administrator.  She maintains memberships with American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).  She received her BA in Psychology from Boston College and completed her graduate studies at Fordham University with a MA in Clinical Psychology.  Ms. Navarretta is Nationally Certified and is a Licensed Counselor in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Navarretta’ s senior leadership roles included serving as Chief Operating Officer of Liberation Programs Inc., a private non-profit serving Fairfield County and Chief of Behavioral Health Services for Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Greater New Haven.  Ms. Navarretta has also maintained a general outpatient private practice since 1996.  

Designee: Stephanie Zanker-Rivera, M.S., L.P.C., is a Behavioral Health Clinical Manager with the Office of the Commissioner, Young Adult Services (YAS), Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).  In this role, Ms. Zanker-Rivera is responsible for administrative and clinical oversight of several YAS programs across the state and also manages transitions of youth from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to Young Adult Services.  Ms. Zanker-Rivera is also the Director of Prevention and Parenting for YAS and oversees a team of Perinatal Support Specialists and Doulas who provide perinatal/birth support as well as prevention and parenting education for clients.  Ms. Zanker-Rivera participates in several statewide committees including the Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team (HART), Reaching Home: Prevention and Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Workgroups, Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC) Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) Workgroup, DCF Region 5 Regional Advisory Council (RAC), the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children (GTFJAC), Department of Public Health (DPH) Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Advisory Council, and is a Board Member of the Connecticut Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH).   Ms. Zanker-Rivera is a Certified Trainer in Introduction to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) for the Department of Children and Families and is also a member of the state’s Disaster Behavioral Health Response Network (DBHRN) Team. In 2016, Ms. Zanker-Rivera completed the Yale School of Medicine Leadership Program in Behavioral Health, Women in Leadership.   Before joining DMHAS, Ms. Zanker-Rivera worked for DCF as a Social Work Supervisor and then Program Manager.
Private Practice Clinicians
Member: Eliza L. Borecka, M.A, M.S.W, L.C.S.W., is the clinical director of Specialized Treatment Services at The Sterling  Center for Counseling, a private practice with offices in Cromwell and Shelton, Connecticut. She holds a Master’s Degree from The University of Warsaw, in Poland and an MSW from The University of Connecticut. As clinical director, she provides supervision to a staff of professionals providing treatment to children and adults. Eliza is utilizing her extensive training in the area of forensic interviewing to provide psychosexual evaluations and risk assessments in cases of sexual abuse, and she has been called upon as an expert witness in cases related to trauma and sexual perpetration. She also provides evaluations and treatment for families and individuals addressing issues related to trauma, sexual abuse, and sexual perpetration.

Eliza volunteers for several State - and - community-based initiatives: She is a member of three Multidisciplinary Investigative Teams: Greater New Haven - Milford CAC, Middlesex County and The Child Advocacy Center at the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport serving the families of Lower Fairfield County; Eliza is a clinical member of the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), and The Connecticut Association for Treatment of Sex Offenders where she is serving as treasurer and a member of The Board of Directors;

In 2015 Eliza participated in the collaborative Planning Team creating a Child Abuse and Assault Awareness and Prevention Program Framework at The Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Center (CONNSAC); Eliza is a trainer for the Center for Family Justice (formerly Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, Inc.) on the topic:  “Sexual Abuse and Sexual Abusers”; She is a member of the NCA National Collaborative Work Group on Youth with problematic Sexual Behaviors.

Eliza offers consultations and training on topics related to assessments and the treatment of sexually inappropriate behaviors. In 2015 and 2016 Eliza was invited as a guest lecturer to present on assessments of sexual abuse at the Teacher’s College at Columbia University in NYC, NY.  In May 2019, Eliza presented two lectures at the international conference on “Security, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development”, in Bialystok, Poland which was held at the University in Bialystok.  The presentation titles were: “Review of the Systemic Community Response to Childhood Sexual Abuse: From Disclosure to Sex Offender Registry - a Connecticut Model” and “Rated X: Everything You Can Learn About Sex Offenders in an Hour or Two”.

Health Professionals
Member: Andrea G. Asnes, MD, MSW is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, the Director of the Yale Programs for Safety, Advocacy, and Healing, and a board-certified Child Abuse Pediatrician.  After receiving a master’s degree in social work from New York University, Dr. Asnes completed medical school and pediatric residency at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  She then spent two years as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan before joining John Leventhal, MD in 2005 on the faculty at Yale where she has learned from and worked alongside him since.  Dr. Asnes assumed leadership of the Yale Programs for Safety, Advocacy, and Healing in 2019.  She is a current member of the American Board of Pediatrics Child Abuse Subboard, has published over thirty peer-reviewed papers, chapters and invited commentaries, and was a section editor for the 23rd edition of Rudolph’s Pediatrics.  Her scholarly interests include the support of frontline clinicians in the identification of abusive injury and the engagement of sexually abused children in trauma-focused mental health care.  Dr. Asnes has a career-long interest in medical education.  She currently serves as the Graduate Medical Education Director of Resident and Fellow Wellbeing at the Yale-New Haven Hospital and previously served as Pediatric Clerkship Director, Associate Director of the MD/Ph.D. program, and as Pediatric Residency Director at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.
Designee: Dr. Asnes
Law Enforcement Representatives
Member: Lieutenant Seth Mancini has been a member of the Connecticut State Police since 2000. During that time he has been assigned to patrol at Troop C – Tolland, Troop W – Bradley International Airport, and Troop H – Hartford, and then to the Legal Affairs Unit in the Office of the Commissioner. In 2008, he was promoted to Sergeant, and worked as a supervisor in the Legal Affairs Unit, at Troop H – Hartford, and the Central District Major Crime Squad out of Troop I – Bethany. In 2015, he was promoted to Lieutenant and has served as the Commanding Officer of the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, the Chief of Staff to the Colonel of the State Police, the Commanding Officer of the DESPP Labor Relations Unit, and the Legislative Liaison for the agency to the Connecticut State Legislature. He is currently the Commanding Officer of Troop B – North Canaan. He has served as the DESPP Commissioner’s designee on the Child Fatality Review Board since 2008 and served on the New Haven MDT while assigned to CDMC. He is also a licensed attorney, having received his J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.


Member:  Officer Christopher Robak has been a member of the Shelton Police Department since 2012.  He has received numerous commendations for his work on cases and was awarded the MADD award in 2014.  He was appointed as the Department’s Youth Officer in October of 2016.  During this time, he has investigated numerous sexual and physical abuse of children.  He has also been active within the schools as well as the Boys and Girls Club in Shelton.  He has been a member of the Shelton Youth Service Bureau since 2016 and serves on the Shelton Juvenile Review Board.  He graduated from Fairfield University in 2003.

Individual Experienced in Work with Homeless Children and Youth:
Member: Stacy Schleif is a senior staff attorney with the Child Abuse Project at the Center for Children's Advocacy. She represents children in the areas of abuse and neglect and is involved with systemic and legislative advocacy on child welfare issues. Stacy teaches and supervises law school students as part of the Center’s child advocacy clinic; provides pre-service training to attorneys new to juvenile court practice, and participates in the Center’s training programs.  Before her work at CCA, Stacy spent 14 years representing children and families in varying capacities. She was a supervising staff attorney for the Children and Family Law division of the public defender’s office in Springfield, MA, where she represented children and parents in child welfare cases, and supervised newer attorneys in their representation. She also worked as a trial attorney in the public defender's office in Salem, MA.  Stacy holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Haverford College.
Court Improvement Project
Member: Steven Marhefsky
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Member: Meghan Scanlon currently serves as the CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV). Prior to her role at CCADV, Scanlon served as the Executive Director of Women & Family Life Center, a regional nonprofit serving women, and families in crisis. In her time at the Center, she spearheaded meaningful growth - transitioning the staff from part-time to full-time and building key relationships with donors and community leaders that have transformed the Center's impact in the community, all while strengthening the organization’s short and long-term financial stability through strategic fundraising. Prior to her time at Women & Family Life Center, Meghan worked in the Connecticut nonprofit world and served as an aide to Senator Chris Murphy and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and lives in Guilford with her husband Sean and son Jack.
Designee: Kelly Annelli is the Director of Member Organization Services at Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  For fifteen years, Kelly worked in the field of Early Childhood Education.  Before coming to CCADV in 2015, Kelly was the director of a child development center where she was responsible for program oversight, NAEYC accreditation, state licensing, and operational policies related to standards outlined by the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and NAEYC. Kelly has her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies and a master’s degree in Human Services with focus Non-Profit Management.
CT Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. (CONNSACS)
Member: Beth Hamilton is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence (formerly CONNSACS), the statewide coalition of nine community-based sexual assault crisis services programs. Beth has over 16 years of experience working to end violence throughout the state of Connecticut including sexual violence, domestic violence, and violence against LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. Beth has been a leader in the development and implementation of statewide policies addressing and preventing sexual violence in Connecticut’s K-12 schools, on college campuses, and within Connecticut’s correctional system. Beth is responsible for the oversight of The Alliance’s programmatic, communications, and training divisions, as well as manages The Alliance’s Legal Services Team and Post-Conviction Victim Services program which houses 14 specialized victim advocates who work with the state’s Sex Offender Supervision Units in parole and probation. Beth previously worked at the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund (CWEALF), and directly serving victims of sexual and domestic violence.  Beth is dedicated to the prevention of violence, creating opportunities for survivor-led advocacy, and building anti-oppression movements.    
State of Connecticut Department of Education
Member: Charlene Russell-Tucker, Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education. Russell-Tucker has more than 20 years of experience as a performance-driven and visionary education leader and most recently served as deputy commissioner of the state agency, which she will lead on an interim basis until a permanent appointment is made. As deputy commissioner, she has been responsible for overseeing educational supports and wellness priorities. Charlene Russell-Tucker has put the spotlight on Connecticut in terms of spearheading the improvement of culture and climate and social-emotional learning in our schools. Charlene possesses the track record, experience, and equity lens necessary to direct the delivery of high quality, accessible educational experiences, services, and programs that provide the foundations for positive school and life outcomes for all students.
Throughout her career, Russell-Tucker has passionately supported family and community engagement in education and led school attendance and school discipline initiatives with a strong focus on equity and diversity. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she has been a crucial voice in supporting student attendance and engagement as schools have conducted hybrid or remote learning. Additionally, she has spearheaded the collaboration efforts with the Connecticut Department of Public Health to ensure provision of technical assistance and guidance development for a successful, healthy, and safe school year.
Prior to her appointment as deputy commissioner in November 2019, Russell-Tucker served as chief operating officer and division chief for the State Department of Education’s Office of Student Supports and Organizational Effectiveness. She also served as associate commissioner of education and bureau chief at the agency, overseeing a portfolio of programs and services that included student health, family and community engagement, nutrition and safety, magnet and charter schools, adult education, and special education.
Russell-Tucker is active with a number of state and national committees, including her previous service as co-chair of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children Strategic Action Group on Chronic Absence, and has served as expert panel member on committees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She was also past president of the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a member of the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has over 15 years of teaching experience, having served as an adjunct faculty member at Albertus Magnus College School of New Dimensions.

In 2015, Russell-Tucker was named to the inaugural class of 100 Women of Color in Connecticut. In 2018, she was welcomed to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Council of Champions. Recognizing mentoring relationships are key to maintaining students’ connection to school, Russell-Tucker has endeavored to uphold mentoring as an intervention in combating chronic absenteeism in schools and for these efforts was named MENTOR National’s 2021 Excellence in Mentoring Honoree in State and Local Public Service.

Connecticut Children’s Alliance
Krystal Rich is the Director of the Connecticut Children's Alliance (CCA). Biography listed above.
Designee: Jill Fitzsimons-Bula is the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) coordinator at the Klingberg Children’s Advocacy Center in Hartford, CT where she works closely with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, forensic interviewers, victim advocates, medical and mental health professionals, and several other community-based agencies to provide a coordinated response to allegations of child abuse.  Jill has over 10 years of experience working with children’s advocacy centers and MDT’s and has served on the Gaps and Barriers workgroup as well as the Training Committee.  Before her work within Connecticut, Jill has served as a child advocate for the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian Ad Litem Program in Miami, Florida. Mrs. Bula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a Master of Social Work, with a concentration in policy practice, from the University of Connecticut School of Social work. 
Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center
Member: Anthony DeVincenzo, MA, Training Specialist for the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, is responsible for providing training, technical support and assistance to MDT/CACs and supporting the development of MDT/CACs in underdeveloped areas in the Northeast region of the United States (from PA to ME). NRCAC is a proud supporter of the CT Children’s Alliance and partners regularly with CCA in their efforts to improve and expand the Child Advocacy Centers of Connecticut.  Mr. DeVincenzo has worked in the field of child abuse and neglect for more than 16 years, in a variety of roles (e.g. detective/forensic interviewer, trainer, CAC Program Director, MDT coordinator), and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his work.
Co-Chairs: MDT Evaluation Committee
Co-Chair: Krystal Rich is the Director of the Connecticut Children's Alliance (CCA). Biography listed above.
Co-Chair: Paula Schaeffer is the program manager of Yale Programs for Safety, Advocacy & Healing.  She earned her master’s degree in psychology from Southern Connecticut State University. She has been with these programs for 12 years and in her position for that last 3 years. These Yale Programs provide evaluations and recommendations when there is a suspicion of child abuse.  The program serves the southern communities in CT including the following MDTs: Norwalk, Stamford, Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, Waterbury.  Paula is also a member of the South Central Child Advocacy Center management team.  Paula is a co-chair of the Governor’s Task Force MDT Evaluation Committee
Co-Chairs: Training Committee
Co-Chair: Elizabeth C. Leaming, BA, JD is the Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Windham. She leads a team of six attorneys who handle the prosecution of motor vehicle, misdemeanor, and felony crimes in Windham County while maintaining a caseload in both G.A. 11 and Part A prosecuting child abuse cases.  Before her position in Windham County, SASA Leaming was responsible for the prosecution of child physical and sexual abuse cases that occurred in Tolland County for 24 years.  She began her legal career in 1992 as a prosecutor in Ft. Myers, Florida where she discovered her passion for prosecuting crimes against children.  Her interest in this area continued once she moved back to her home state of CT where she has spent her entire career pursuing justice for abused children.  Ms. Leaming co-chaired the Tolland County Multi-Disciplinary Team for 22 years and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Windham County Multi-Disciplinary Team.  Additionally, she co-chairs the Training Committee of the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children and serves on the faculty of Finding Words Connecticut.  Attorney Leaming lectures statewide on topics related to child abuse investigation and the criminal justice system to DCF, law enforcement, medical providers, and school administrators and staff.
Co-Chair: Kristen M. Clark, Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children Coordinator. Biography listed below.


Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team (HART) Project Director Tammy M. Sneed, Program Director, Office of Human Trafficking Services (DCF).  Biography listed above

Associate Vice President Programs and Advocacy of The Village.
Yvette Young is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Trinity College and her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College. Yvette has sixteen years of experience working for non-profit organizations. She worked for the YWCA of the Hartford Region's Sexual Assault Crisis Service Program for five years, as a Training Coordinator and then as the Program Director. She worked for Catholic Family Services’ Black Family Enrichment Program as an outpatient therapist for two years.  She worked as the Senior Program Director for a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for children and was recently the Senior Director of Permanency Services at the Village for Families and Children, Inc. She worked as the Project Director/HART Coordinator for DCF and the Village for Families and Children Inc until October 2019. She currently supervises the GTF Coordinator.
Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children Coordinator
Kristen M. Clark became the coordinator of the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children in June 2008. She graduated from Watkinson Day School and Howard University, with a B.S. in Sociology, before going on to pursue a Master in Social Work at the University of Connecticut. Ms. Clark has been employed with the Village for Families & Children, Inc. since 1993, where she previously coordinated the agency's emergency preparedness, public policy, and advocacy efforts. At The Village, she has been responsible for connecting with key community and corporate organizations, developing key legislative relationships, coordinating volunteers, promoting Village programs, and cultivating media and fund-raising prospects. Previously she worked as the interim Director of RAMBUH Family Center, Community Ambassador, supervisor, therapist, and case manager in the Village's foster care program. Ms. Clark is also active in the Greater Hartford community through her current and past public service activities including serving on the Boards of Watkinson Day School and Community Health Services; being an adult achiever mentor in the YMCA Minority Achiever Program; a mentor in the Delta Academy; and actively participating as a member of the National Association of Black Social Workers, the Greater Hartford Alliance of Black Social Workers, and the NAACP. She served as President of the Howard University Alumni Club of Greater Hartford and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she is a past Assistant Secretary of the Eastern Region. In May 2010, Kristen was elected Region I Chair of the Howard University Alumni Association and covered all Howard University alumni in Africa, Europe, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont until June 2018. On a statewide level, Kristen was a commissioner for the African American Affairs Commission of Connecticut’s General Assembly.  In March 2017, Kristen was selected as a 100 Women of Color 2017 honoree. The 100 Women of Color Gala and Awards recognize 100 women of color from Springfield, Massachusetts to Stamford, Connecticut; for their leadership, entrepreneurial success, and community service. Kristen received the additional honor of being selected as the 2017 Valedictorian for the 100 Women of Color.  Kristen currently serves as a corporator for the Hartford Public Library, is a member of the inaugural Community Engagement and Advocacy Advisory Committee of the YWCA Greater Hartford Region, is a member of the inaugural Community Engagement Board for Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice, and is a Civic Ambassador with Democracy Works.
Ms. Clark coordinates the Task Force's administrative duties, Finding Words training, and chairs the Training Committee, the Membership Committee, and the By-Laws and Website workgroups. Kristen currently serves as the MDT evaluator for the task force and is a trainer of the Minimal Facts Discoverers curriculum. She participates in several of the committees and workgroups for the Task Force. Ms. Clark also represents the Governor's Task Force on Connecticut’s Human Anti-trafficking Response Team (HART) Project and has participated in HART efforts since the Spring of 2014.