Gov. Dannel Malloy has named Jamey Bell, of Bloomfield, to serve as the State of Connecticut’s new Child Advocate.
Bell serves as the executive director for Connecticut Voices for Children, a New Haven-based non-profit think tank focused on children’s policy and advocacy and represented children as a senior legal and policy advocate at Greater Hartford Legal Aid.
“Jamey has extensive experience in children’s advocacy and policy, and a strong background in management,” Malloy said. “The Child Advocate has a broad mandate and significant powers but, at its heart, this position is the voice for the youngest and most vulnerable residents of this state. Jamey’s expertise, passion and commitment will be an extraordinary asset to the protection and care of the state’s children.”
The Office of the Child Advocate evaluates, investigates and reviews how services are provided to children who are involved with state agencies and programs. The former child advocate, Jeanne Milstein, retired on March 1 after serving in the role for 11 years.
“I’ve spent decades advocating for young people—as an attorney, policy advisor, and on working groups and task forces. It is an honor to be asked to serve the state’s children in this new capacity,” Bell said in a news release. “Governor Malloy has said it time and again: our children are our most valued resource and they must have every opportunity to thrive and succeed. I am pleased to build on the foundation laid by the previous Child Advocate, Jeanne Milstein, who is a phenomenal leader on children’s issues. I look forward to continuing this work to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all of Connecticut’s children.”
Bell was a founding director of the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative and a former member of the Hispanic Health Council Institutional Review Board. She was also appointed to the Department of Children and Families Continuum of Care Partnership and the Children in the Recession Task Force. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and holds a J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law.
Malloy said the advisory committee to the Office of the Child Advocate reviewed hundreds of applications for the position.
A confirmation hearing will be held before the General Assembly during the next legislative session. Bell is expected to begin around Nov. 1, according to Malloy’s office.