Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Leads Senate Confirmation Of Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden as New Commissioner of the NYS Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS).

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Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Leads Senate Confirmation of Westchester County Youth Bureau Director as NYS OCFS Commissioner

Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousin and newly confirmed Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) DaMia Harris-Madden [Black Westchester]

Under the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the New York State Senate confirmed the appointment Wednesday, May 15th of Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden as the new Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Dr. Harris-Madden previously served as Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau from 2018 until her appointment. Governor Kathy Hochul nominated her to the OCFS post, and on Wednesday, Sen. Stewart-Cousins brought a confirmation vote to the State Senate floor, with Dr. Harris-Madden and her family in attendance.

“As a Westchester resident and as somebody who has known Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden for years, I’m so pleased that the governor has selected her for this position,” Sen. Stewart-Cousins said. “As Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, Dr. Harris-Madden kept a focus on the youth of our county by developing and implementing more than 200 youth-centered programs each year to support and nurture children, including implementing the OCFS Youth Development Program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program in Westchester. She is an exceptional leader, and the Office of Children and Family Services will be an even better organization under her leadership.”

“What a week! It is a privilege and honor to be confirmed as the Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services. I am immensely grateful and humbled by Governor Hochul’s nomination, the Senators that unanimously confirmed me, and the praying families and friends who supported me,” Dr. Harris-Madden shared with Black Westchester.

Sen. Stewart-Cousins’ comments were echoed by Bernie Dean, the Acting Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, who thanked Dr. Harris-Madden for her excellent work in Westchester and wished her the best in her new role.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the nomination of Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden to serve as Commissioner of the New York State OCFS, on Friday, March 8th.

“My administration is committed to putting families first, and the Office of Children and Family Services plays a critical role in that effort,” Hochul said in a statement. “Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden is a tested, experienced leader who will be an important part of our work to make New York an even better place to raise a family.”

“I am incredibly humbled and deeply grateful to be nominated by Governor Hochul as the next Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services—an immense agency that touches the lives of nearly every New Yorker.” Dr Harris-Madden shared with Black Westchester after her nomination. “It will be both an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity, wholeheartedly embracing the opportunities to create a meaningful impact that enhances the overall well-being of all New Yorkers. Twenty-three years ago, I made the life-changing decision to leave the private sector and dedicate myself to working on behalf of the most vulnerable: children and youth. Looking back, it was undoubtedly the best decision I could have made. My upbringing and experiences in the City of Mount Vernon inspired me personally and professionally, shaping my commitment to making a difference. I found the funding and resources to create many programs based on what I would have liked as a child growing up in Mount Vernon, what the youth advised me of as their wants and needs, and the research that pointed to promising practices that would make children, youth, and families thrive.”

Dr. Harris-Madden has spent 20 years working at the intersections of government, education, business, and the non-profit sectors. She worked as Executive Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau, within the County Executive’s office. She was responsible for managing a department that deploys financial and technical resources to hundreds of programs and contractors operated by nonprofit, private, and municipal agencies that support children, youth, and families within the 46 communities of Westchester County.

Before joining the Westchester County Youth Bureau, Dr. Harris-Madden served in four mayoral cabinets in the City of Mount Vernon, where she expanded the city’s services significantly. She has served as a federal and local grant reviewer and a New York State 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program evaluator.

The OCFS is an agency of the New York State Department of Family Assistance, and provides families and youth with services and resources across a broad spectrum, helping families find childcare, working to prevent child abuse, overseeing the state’s foster system for children and parents, providing health care and disability services, and a host of other functions.

Black Westchester congratulates and celebrates Dr. DaMia Hadden-Harris, a true Black Westchester Legend!

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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