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Contact information for the DCF executive staff

Meet the Commissioner 

Please find below the Department of Children and Families executive staff biographies (listed alphabetically).

Jason Butkowski
Carmen Diaz-Petti
Steven Dodson
Bonny Fraser
Mollie Greene
Linda Holland
Debra Lancaster
Aubrey C. Powers
Brian C. Ross, Esq.
Katherine L. Stoehr
Charmaine Thomas
Jessica Trombetta
Kathryn Way
Doris N. Windle

Jason Butkowski

Director of Communications

Jason has fifteen years of experience working in public service and higher education, managing communications projects for both external and internal constituencies, developing media strategies and brand development. 

For the last five years, Jason has served as Senior Communications Specialist at Rutgers University-University Human Resources (UHR). In this role, Jason developed a wide range of internal communications for faculty and staff on topics ranging from employee benefits, to compliance and regulatory issues, and performance management. Prior to this, Jason served as the Assistant Communications Director for the New Jersey Senate Democratic Caucus, where he prepared a variety of communications for internal/external constituents, developed the caucus’s media capabilities, and served as spokesperson for state senators. 

Jason graduated from the College of New Jersey with a BA in Journalism and Professional Writing with a concentration in TV / Radio communications and mass media production.

 

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Carmen Diaz-Petti

Assistant Commissioner, Child Protection and Permanency

Carmen Diaz-Petti, LCSW has served as Area Director for Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren and Mercer Counties since January of 2015.  In that position, she has created a collaborative environment with internal and external stakeholders, working with our community partners to enhance the safety net for our most vulnerable children.  Carmen has been a champion of the Case Practice Model, and has also implemented several quality improvement initiatives in her area to further improve services to our families.

Prior to her role as Area Director, Carmen had previously served as a Local Office Manager of the Somerset County Office.  Before joining DCF, she worked for 10 years at Catholic Charities as an Assistant Division Director for the Youth Services Division and Behavioral Health, and has held positions providing counseling assistance to victims of physical and sexual abuse, children with social or behavioral health challenges, and adolescent sexual offenders.  She holds a B.A. from Rutgers in Psychology, an MSW from the Rutgers School of Social Work, is a NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and is bilingual in both English and Spanish.

 

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Steven Dodson

Chief Financial Officer 

Steven Dodson is the New Jersey Department of Children and Families' chief financial officer.  He is responsible for the fiscal operations of the department, including contracting, accounting, procurement, budgeting, and revenue.  Prior to his appointment as CFO, Mr. Dodson was DCF's budget director for two years. In this role, he has been responsible for managing all aspects of the department’s budget planning, quarterly spending plans, department-wide expenditures, and overseeing the salary monitoring process and federal grant programs. 

Prior to working at DCF, Steven served at the State’s Office of Information Technology, first as Assistant Director of Financial Management and was later promoted to Director. Among his many responsibilities, Steven managed all budgetary activities including supervising staff, directed the preparation of OIT’s annual and capital budget, managed procurement processes, developed fiscal projection models and prepared quarterly spending plans.

Steven has close to twenty years working in state government, starting his career as a Program Analyst at the Department of Treasury.  He has worked in different capacities at various other state entities, including the Department of Human Services and the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Steven earned a B.S. in Management from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. with specialization in Finance from LaSalle University. 

 

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Bonny Fraser

Deputy Commissioner for Legal, Regulatory, and Legislative Affairs

Over the last four years, Bonny has served as a member of the Department of Human Services Senior Management Team, first as Legal and Regulatory Affairs Director, and most recently as Assistant Commissioner for Legal Affairs. 

In these roles, she provided a wide range of legal support services across the department’s eight divisions, including overseeing the department’s compliance and risk management activities in relation to federal and state laws and policies such as the Open Public Record Act (OPRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), Administrative Practice Act (APA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Among her responsibilities was also managing tort and employment litigation, as well as administering the department’s Office of Contract Policy and Management.  

Prior to serving at DHS, many of you may recall that Bonny served as both DCF’s Office of Legal Affairs Director, and the Office of Legal and Regulatory Liaison Supervisor.  

With over twenty years’ experience working in state government, Bonny began her career as a Legal Specialist at the Department of Environmental Protection, and has worked at the State’s Ethics Commission and the Governor’s office.  

Bonny earned a B.A. in Political Science from Massachusetts Wheaton College, and a J.D. and an M.A. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. 

 

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Mollie Greene

Director, Clinical Services

Mollie Greene was appointed as DCF's Director of Clinical Services in July 2014.  In this role, Ms. Greene serves as a member of the department's executive management team and is responsible for management and oversight of DCF's clinical team services and initiatives, substance abuse initiatives, and the Office of Child and Family Health.

Ms. Greene comes to DCF after seven years at the Department of Human Services, where she first served as the Deputy of Quality Assurance for the Division of Addiction Services.  She later became Assistant Division Director of the Office of Care Management within DHS' Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, where she was responsible for development and implementation of the behavioral health components of New Jersey's Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver.

Ms. Greene entered state service in 2007 with many years of experience in behavioral health, including work in direct care, administration, and advocacy. She was the Executive Director of a multi-service residential treatment agency serving women with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness for six years before being recruited by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of New Jersey to establish the Work First New Jersey Substance Abuse Initiative. While at the National Council, Greene was a core member of the team that developed a cross-systems approach to delivering screening, engagement, treatment, and care management services to parents involved with child welfare and the state's welfare to work program. 

Ms. Greene was named New Jersey Task Force on Women and Addiction Woman of the Year in 2000. She holds a Master's degree in American Literature and is a New Jersey Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. 

 

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Linda Holland

Director, Information Technology

Linda Holland is the Director of Information Technology for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.  In this role, Ms. Holland serves as a member of the department's executive management team and is responsible for providing leadership, vision, planning and management for all areas of information technology.  This includes directing all IT operations to meet the department's goals and objectives as well as the support and maintenance of existing infrastructure, applications, and development of new technical solutions.

Ms. Holland brings over 24 years of experience in child welfare/information technology and was instrumental in the successful completion of the Department's SACWIS system (NJS).  Additionally, Ms. Holland collaborated with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services to launch the Kinship Legal Guardianship and Relative Care initiatives.  Ms. Holland continually works with other state agencies on various initiatives, such as data warehousing, mobility and data security. 

Ms. Holland's personal academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kean College in Union, NJ and a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY. 

 

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Debra Lancaster

Chief Program Officer

Debra Lancaster was appointed as the Department’s first Chief Program Officer in May 2016. In addition to continuing to oversee the Office of Strategic Development,  Debra is leading the Department’s efforts to identify, develop and support implementation of both core and specialized services for our state’s most vulnerable women, children and families. In this role, she is working closely with DCF leadership and community partners to identify additional opportunities to transition of the Department’s service array to trauma informed, evidence-supported programming.  She provides oversight of our clinical services, as well as the Office of Child and Family Health, child welfare supportive housing services and oversees DCF’s research protocols and the Department’s relationships with child welfare scholars.

Previously, Debra served as DCF’s Director of Office of Child and Family Health where she was instrumental in the implementation of DCF’s Child Health Units; the development and implementation of psychotropic medication policy; and, development of forensic guidelines. Most recently, she has led the launch of the Department’s first permanent supportive housing efforts for child welfare involved families who are facing homelessness and other co-occurring challenges. Debra’s background is in work organization and management and she has a Master’s in Labor and Industrial Relations from Rutgers University.

 

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Aubrey C. Powers

Assistant Commissioner, Performance Management and Accountability

Aubrey C. Powers is the Assistant Commissioner overseeing the Office of Performance Management and Accountability for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.  In this role, Mr. Powers is a member of the department's executive management team and is responsible for providing leadership to the development and implementation of performance improvement and accountability work throughout the department. 

Mr. Powers has direct oversight of DCF's Office of Performance Management and Accountability, which includes all quality assurance and program evaluation activities, data analysis and reporting, and child fatality and near fatality case practice reviews. He is responsible for ongoing management of department-wide Continuous Quality Improvement and producing annual reports on the department's work and progress.

Mr. Powers brings more than 23 years of child welfare and community-based programming experience.  Prior to coming to DCF, Mr. Powers was the Director of Quality Improvement, Provider Relations and Evaluation of Programs at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. Prior to that, Mr. Powers was integral to the design and launch of the Achieving Reunification Center, an innovative model for families who have children in foster care and a goal of reunification. Mr. Powers also provided strategic leadership to the Achieving Independence Center, a "one-stop" self-sufficiency program for youth transitioning to independence. Mr. Powers has championed Fatherhood engagement and has developed and facilitated support groups for parents. Prior to that Mr. Powers held positions as a Child Protective Services social worker and supervisor.  

Mr. Powers earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Temple University and Masters' of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.     

 

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Brian C. Ross, Esq.

Assistant Commissioner for Legal, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs

Brian Ross is the Assistant Commissioner for Legal, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.  In this role, Mr. Ross has responsibility for oversight of the Department's legal, regulatory and administrative affairs.  He directly supervises the Office of Legal and Legislative Affairs and the Office of Licensing, and also serves as the Director of the Office of Policy and Regulatory Development and the Department's Administrative Practices Officer.

Mr. Ross joined the Department of Children and Families as a Legal Specialist in 2011.  Prior to that, he spent ten years as a program analyst with the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense focusing on family violence response and quality of life programs.   

He holds a juris doctorate from George Mason University School of Law, and a bachelor's degree in International Relations from American University.    

 

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Katherine L. Stoehr

Deputy Commissioner of Operations

For the last four years, Katherine has been working as a consultant for Public Catalyst, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Great Lakes Behavioral Research, as well as other non-profits and charitable foundations, with a focus on coaching and training, technical assistance, research, strategic and programmatic support, managing child welfare reform initiatives, and implementing evidenced based programs. 

Katherine began her career in support of children and families fifteen years ago at the Association to Benefit Children in New York as Director of Quality Assurance.  Since then she has served in diverse leadership roles at various child and family serving agencies, including Sr. Vice President of Performance, Strategy and Advocacy at Graham Windham and Assistant Commissioner for Program Policy and Development at New York’s Administration for Children Services.  Throughout her career, Katherine has managed foster care programs, and has been responsible for strategic planning, developing policy, quality and performance monitoring, managing advocacy efforts and program development initiatives, as well as professional development programs.  

Katherine earned her MA in Public Administration from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

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Charmaine Thomas

Assistant Commissioner, Family and Community Partnerships and Division on Women

Charmaine L. Thomas is the Assistant Commissioner overseeing Family and Community Partnerships and the Division on Women. In this role, Ms. Thomas oversees a statewide network of child abuse prevention programs to strengthen and support families.  Before being appointed as Director, Ms. Thomas has held numerous leadership positions within DCF, examples include the Camden County Area Director and Deputy Division Director and IAIU Statewide Administrator.

Most recently Ms. Thomas served as the Camden County Area Director for Child Protection and Permanency where she partnered with the community and DCF staff to understand our children, youth, women, and families in order to assist in identifying services so that everyone individual DCF serves is successful.  Prior to that she was the Deputy Division Director where she was responsible for overseeing the statewide operations of the Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit and management of the Congregate Care Risk Management Team that identified high risk facilities involved across the Office of Licensing, Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit, Evaluation Support and Special Investigations (ESSI), Children's System of Care and Child Protection and Permanency.  Ms. Thomas has over 28 years of service in working with children and their families within the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Family Services.

Charmaine earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Hampton Institute and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Policy and Administration from Rutgers University. 

 

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Jessica Trombetta

Executive Director, Adolescent Services

Jessica Trombetta, LCSW is the Executive Director of Adolescent Services.  The Office of Adolescent Services (OAS) is a Department level office focused on prioritizing the needs of youth 14-21 who are receiving services from DCF, ensuring that they transition into adulthood successfully.  OAS ensures that high quality services are provided to youth, develops linkages with service providers and youth advocates, and provides leadership in adolescent policy development, case practice, and training. 

Most recently Ms. Trombetta served as an Associate Director at Family Connections Inc. where she supervised a range of community based programs and a therapeutic afterschool program.  These programs provided case management and clinical services to children, adolescents, older adults, and families.  In this role, Jessica gained extensive experience providing in-home clinical and community-based case management with youth involved with DCF, managing multiple programs, and supervising several staff.  Additionally, Ms. Trombetta has worked in outpatient clinical programs, and held leadership positions in the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Jessica earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Ithaca College and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Direct Practice to Children and Families from Rutgers University.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified clinical supervisor with training in family systems theory, impact of trauma, and trauma/developmentally informed practice.

 

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Kathryn Way

Interim Assistant Commissioner, Children's System of Care

Kathryn has worked extensively in the New Jersey child welfare arena, helping to create the Division of Child Behavioral Health Services (later known as Children’s System of Care), and leading the Division when it was created within the Department of Human Services in 2003.  She also established the Office of Children’s Services within DHS to implement many of the far-reaching reforms to New Jersey’s child welfare system in the early-to-mid 2000s.

Prior to joining the New Jersey Department of Human Services in 2003, Kathryn served as the Director of the Division of Family Services for the State of Delaware, and in various policy roles within the State of Delaware and within federal government.  She served on President Bill Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council from 1993 – 1995, working on President Clinton’s landmark welfare reform initiative in the 1990s.

Following the creation of the Department of Children and Families in 2006 as the first child-serving cabinet post within New Jersey State government, Kathryn oversaw operations of many of the Department’s local Division on Child Protection & Permanency (CP&P) offices within South Jersey.  Her experience in children’s behavioral health and Child Protection & Permanency are an invaluable asset to the Department.

Kathryn received her B.A. in Sociology from East Carolina University, and attended the Duke University Public Policy Institute for Executives in State Government.

 

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Doris N. Windle

Chief of Staff

Doris began her public service career as a Community Service Officer at the Department of Community Affairs.  She brings an impressive number of years of public service experience back to DCF, with over fifteen years of experience in budget planning and fiscal operations. 

For the last two years, Doris has served as Special Assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Human Services.  As part of the executive management team, Doris was responsible for the oversight of key operational areas, and provided direct-line supervision of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Emergency Management and several Developmental Centers.  As the commissioner’s confidential representative, her responsibilities also included implementing initiatives, federal grants oversight, and the management of internal administrative processes. 

Many of you know Doris for her years of service here at DCF, as she previously served as Chief Administrator for Business Operations, where she managed all aspects of the department’s budget, as well as oversight of accounting, procurement, contract administration, and Title IV-E program operations, among her vast responsibilities. Prior to this, Doris served as the department’s Budget Director. 

Doris graduated from Rider University with a BA in Political Science with a concentration in Business.

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