Dear NAWRS Community:

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. As the newly elected President of NAWRS, I’m excited to update you on recent Board decisions and plans for 2016.

After many months (in some cases years!) of consideration, the NAWRS Board has reached two important decisions that we believe will strengthen our Association going forward.

First, criteria for Board membership have been expanded to allow for greater participation by all NAWRS members. As you may know, NAWRS Board membership and officer positions were previously reserved for employees of state and local governments, except for the Program Committee. Now, others who are engaged in our mission of using research and statistics to improve public human services programs may be members of and officers on the Board. This greatly expands our field of candidates and increases our ability to draw on the talents and leadership of all NAWRS members.

On that note, I’m pleased to announce the results of our recent Board elections:

We are fortunate to have reelected Zohre Salehezadeh as Treasurer, Robin Register as Secretary, and Kevin Henson as At-Large member. We are also excited to welcome four new At-Large Board members (see below for the full Board member list):

  • Sarah Leopold (State of Colorado)
  • Kate Probert (Ramsey County, Minnesota)
  • Tony Ong (Public Consulting Group)
  • Nancy Aguirre (Riverside County, California)

With this team, we will be devoting substantial energy in the coming year to ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of our Association.

The second critical decision made by the Board-based in part on your input through the 2015 member survey-is to try out a biannual Workshop schedule. NAWRS will alternate with the now biannual Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS, formerly WREC) of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The next NAWRS Workshop will therefore be held in 2017. Stay tuned for information about summer 2016 NAWRS virtual events!

This decision will allow us to devote more time both to planning the next Workshop and to developing the NAWRS committee system as well as other aspects of our organizational infrastructure. There will be many opportunities for interested members to join in these efforts – please let me know if you’d like to participate, and we’ll keep you updated as opportunities arise. (And thank you to those who already expressed interest through the member survey; we’ll be reaching out to you shortly.)

Finally, on behalf of NAWRS, I want to thank all of you for making last year’s Workshop a resounding success, with particular thanks to 2014-2015 President, Michael Bono, and 2015 Program Chairs, Mary Farrell and Karin Martinson. I look forward to building on that great energy and enthusiasm in 2016.

All the Best,

Kinsey Dinan, NAWRS President