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Mayor Adrian Fenty 
Nominations of Devon Brown, director, Department of Corrections; Deborah Gist, State Education Officer; Bender Gregory, director, Office of Personnel; William Howland, Department of Public Works; Janice Quintana, director Unified Communications Center; Vincent Schiraldi, director, Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services 
December 20, 2006




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Media Announcement

December 20, 2006 
Mafara Hobson
(202) 478.9199

Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty Names Key Executive Appointments

Today, DC Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty announced six more key appointments to his incoming cabinet. Fenty has already named his choices for deputy mayors, city administrator, chief of police, attorney general, general counsel, Secretary of the District, director of policy and legislative affairs, and chief of staff. He will continue to make announcements about agency heads over the next several weeks to fill out his cabinet.

The following individuals were named:

  • Devon Brown, Director, Department of Corrections
  • Deborah A. Gist, State Education Officer
  • Brender L. Gregory, Director, Office of Personnel
  • William O. Howland, Director, Department of Public Works
  • Janice Quintana, Director, Unified Communications Center
  • Vincent N. Schiraldi, Director, Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services

Devon Brown
Director, Department of Corrections

Devon Brown will continue to serve as director of the DC Department of Corrections. Brown has more than three decades of experience in the correctional field. Before joining the District of Columbia government, Brown worked for the State of New Jersey as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Prior to heading New Jersey’s correctional system in April 2002, he was appointed by the U.S. Attorney General in 1998 to serve as the deputy trustee in the Office of the Corrections Trustee for the District of Columbia.

Brown, a Maryland native, has held a wide array of executive, managerial and direct service positions in the correctional field. As head of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Brown oversaw more than 9,500 employees, 14 institutions and a jurisdictional inmate population of approximately 27,000 housed in state facilities, county jails and community halfway houses.

Brown gained national recognition for his innovative works at New Jersey’s correctional system, which included a restorative justice initiative through which offenders are encouraged to atone for the harm they caused society by giving back to the communities they have violated; the introduction of a series of inmate educational initiatives - among them the Stock Market Game and educational television; a nationally acclaimed anti-crime campaign, (the "BE SMART - CHOOSE FREEDOM" program) aimed at discouraging those at risk from becoming criminal offenders; the creation of an offender search engine to the department's Web site; and a host of institutional security enhancements, including the conversion of an entire, once-problematic facility into one of relative calm by using behavior management techniques.

Brown began his career in 1974 as a forensic psychologist in the New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies. In 1976, he obtained a position as a correctional psychologist at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Maryland. Brown eventually assumed the positions of associate director of behavioral sciences and, ultimately, warden. In 1991, Brown was appointed warden of the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center, where he remained until becoming assistant commissioner of administration in the Maryland Division of Corrections. Two years later, in 1993, Brown was named director of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He remained at this post until his appointment as deputy trustee in the Office of the Corrections Trustee for the District of Columbia.

In 1997, Brown received the prestigious John B. Pickett Fellowship by the National Institute of Justice at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Brown earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1988. He received a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Baltimore in 1984. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in psychology from the University of Toledo and has completed all requirements for two Ph.D. degrees from this school with the exception of the doctoral dissertation. In 1971, Brown earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Morgan State University.

Brown has received numerous honors during his career including the "2005 Best in the Business" award by the American Correctional Association. In 2004, he was bestowed the "Gene Carte Memorial Award" by the College of New Jersey for outstanding correctional leadership and earlier this year was featured Year" by Morgan State University as one of its most prominent alumni.

Deborah A. Gist
State Education Officer

Deborah A. Gist will continue to serve as the State Education Officer for the District of Columbia where she has served since July 2004. In this capacity, Gist has been responsible for enhancing state-level education services and opportunities for all District residents through research, effective policy, and programs that ensure the equitable distribution and availability of administrative, financial, and nutrition resources. Under Gist’s leadership, the State Education Office has worked to promote learning for District residents of all ages.

Gist’s tenure as State Education Officer has been marked by accomplishment. During this time, the DC Free Summer Meals program has been consistently recognized by the Food Resource and Action Center as the number one summer feeding program in the country. In addition, Gist successfully advocated for an increase in federal appropriations from $17 million to $33 million for the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant program, a grant designed to increase the number of District students who attend institutions of postsecondary education. Gist also successfully facilitated the reconstitution of the State Advisory Panel on Special Education, providing a forum for parents and other experts to advise policy makers in the District of Columbia on matters related to special education. Additionally, Gist has positioned the State Education Office to become a source on education policy analysis and reports for public officials and education stakeholders city-wide.

Prior to this assignment, she served for three years as the executive director of Serve DC. As executive director, Gist designed and implemented plans to create the Mayor’s office on volunteerism and “state” office for national service programs in the District of Columbia. 

With Gist’s leadership, Serve DC achieved a 500 percent increase in funding for programs granted to the community, including AmeriCorps, Citizen Corps and Learn and Serve; created the DC Citizen Corps, which trained thousands of volunteers in emergency preparedness; and launched several programs, such as the Mayor’s Community Service Awards and the DC Youth Advisory Council.

In 1996, Gist founded Hillsborough Reads, a literacy program in Florida, and served as director until 1999. Under her leadership, the program had a successful impact on the literacy of young children, and the literacy tutoring curriculum she wrote was used in programs across the country.

The foundation of Gist's career is her eight years of experience as a public school teacher. She taught grades first through third, served as a model teacher and trainer for other educators, and was twice named Teacher of the Year.

Gist earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, where she was also selected as a Kennedy Fellow and received the Littauer Fellowship for academic excellence and community service. She has a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Education from the University of South Florida.

She is active in the District of Columbia as a volunteer mentor and member of the board for Mentors, Inc. She serves as a mayoral-appointed member of the Mayor’s Commission on Food and Nutrition and the State Advisory Panel on Special Education. Gist also serves on advisory committees for the DC College Savings Plan and Do the Write Thing. Previously in DC, she served as a volunteer for the DC animal shelter; as vice president of Membership of the bipartisan National Women’s Political Caucus; literacy tutor for START DC; and as a Sunday school teacher and Deaconess Board Member at National City Christian Church.

Brender L. Gregory
Director, Office of Personnel

Brender L. Gregory has been appointed as the new director of the District’s Department of Personnel. Gregory will join the Fenty cabinet after serving as special assistant to the general manager and acting assistant general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). She was responsible for the coordination, planning, and implementation of all aspects of the Division of Workforce Planning and Administration for more than 10,000 union and non-union employees at WMATA. Her areas of responsibility included: human resource management services, organizational development, civil rights, employee and labor relations, compensation and benefits, medical services, training and career development, and employee programs. She also chairs the WMATA Health and Welfare Trust with oversight for more than $20 million in assets. 

Prior to assuming her role as assistant general manager for workforce development at WMATA, Gregory was a seasoned 23-year District of Columbia Government employee where she served as chief of staff for the D.C. Department of Transportation from 2004-2006. In this capacity, she was responsible for executive leadership and support, as well as direct oversight of all agency management support functions for approximately 760 employees. Areas of responsibility included: human resources, training, EEO and civil rights, facilities, customer service, labor relations, integrity and compliance, procurement and budget.

From 1998-2004, Gregory, held several executive and senior management positions with the Metropolitan Police Department. These positions included: director of Business Services Division (2000-2004), where she was responsible for the overall direction and control of critical law enforcement operational units. From 1998-2000, she served as the deputy chief financial officer, with responsibility for providing direction, supervision, and coordination of work in the areas of budget, grants administration, financial reporting, planning, and management. She also led negotiations with federal and intra district partners and coordinated all human resource actions and training needs.

From 1994-1996 Gregory was an operations research analyst, human resource development manager, and supervisory employee benefits specialist with the DC Office of Personnel. She was instrumental in establishing the first Health Benefits Unit and Employee Wellness Program. She also designed and implemented an automated Health Benefit Reconciliation Program which saved hundreds of thousands dollars in duplicate and uncollected benefits payments.

Gregory began her career in January 1984, as a project manager in the Office of the City Administrator, District of Columbia Government. A native of Houston, Texas, Gregory holds a bachelor of science in business management from Hampton University and is a master’s degree candidate (May 2007) at Central Michigan University. She is also a candidate for the Society of Human Resource Professionals (SPHR) designation in December 2006. She is a certified Employee Pension Program Administrator, Industrial Engineer, Trainer, and Grants Administrator. 

William O. Howland, Jr.
Director, Department of Public Works

William O. Howland, Jr. will continue to serve as the director for the District’s Department of Public Works. Howland has more than 20 years of local government experience, primarily as a senior executive. He is especially well-versed in managing organizational operations such as finances, human resources, information technology, and procurement. He has served as the director of Public Works since 2004, where he has led a staff of 1,400. Under his leadership, the District has increased its residential recycling rate by 50 percent with the introduction of the single stream recycling program (blue carts); began the e-cycling program for recycling electronic equipment; eliminated the backlog of abandoned vehicles from public space; consolidated the city’s impoundment lots saving over $1 million per year in lease costs; continued to increase its use of alternative fuel vehicles in the City’s fleet; and in conjunction with District’s Department of Transportation, initiated the Intersection Control Officers program.

From 2002 to 2004, Howland served as the chief of staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations. In this role, he responded to various issues involving agencies in this cluster, particularly the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Office of Contracting and Procurement and the Office of Property Management.

Howland joined the District government in 2001 as the deputy director for the Department of Human Services (DHS), where he directed the administrative management for the agency. He also managed the capital budget, oversaw construction and renovation of agency buildings and led a team of eight departments to create an emergency management plan to shelter displaced residents and reunify families.

Howland also served the Fairfax County government for 17 years, as a personnel analyst, an assistant to the County Executive, and finally as director of the Department of Administration for Human Services.

Janice Quintana
Director, Unified Communications Center

Janice Quintana has been named as the director the Unified Communications Center. Quintana has served as the operations manager for the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center under the Office of Unified Communication where she was responsible for customer service and city services for the District through the centralized “one-stop” number of 727-1000. Working closely with other District agencies and constituents, Quintana created collaborative partnerships to deliver top notch customer service and improved interactions with the community.

She has a solid foundation in employee development and achieving results with a proven record of increasing performance. She has provided key leadership in the areas of planning, strategy development, outreach and implementation. She is a talented troubleshooter whose quick ability to implement successful plans and process improvements moved the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center to greater heights. During her tenure, the Call Center has handled more than 4 million calls and responded to more than one million service requests with improved efficiency and quality. She was responsible for developing a quality assurance program; increasing productivity and accountability; and most importantly, creating a culture dedicated to service and pride. 

Prior to assuming her position with Mayor's Citywide Call Center, Quintana held a number of pivotal positions with MCI related to contact center operations and project management. She created a call center vision and strategy to lead the day to day operations for a staff of 500 including front line sales and customer service, training and quality, and corporate communications.

Quintana is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and earned a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of New Mexico. She also sits on the board of the Association of Government Contact Center Employees and volunteers in the District's “Read out Loud Program - Everybody Wins” at Walker Jones Elementary School.

Vincent N. Schiraldi, MSW
Director, Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services

Vincent N. Schiraldi will continue to serve as the director of the District’s Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services. Schiraldi brings more than 24 years of working with troubled youth and juvenile justice systems to the District of Columbia. As director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), Schiraldi oversees the agency’s $58 million dollar budget and has begun transforming the department by creating one of the nation’s best continuums of care that is strength-based and community- and family-focused.

Prior to his appointment under Mayor Anthony Williams, Schiraldi founded the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), in 2002, where he served as the executive director. The JPI conducts research on the impact of mass incarceration and the overrepresentation of people of color behind bars, and has worked collaboratively on criminal and juvenile justice campaigns in Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland and Texas.

The JPI grew out of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), a private, non-profit criminal/juvenile justice agency dedicated to reducing society’s reliance on imprisonment as a solution to social problems, which Schiraldi founded in 1991. As executive director, Schiraldi supervised all phases of agency operations. Successful projects included juvenile justice programming, continuum of care programming, an alternative sentencing program, the supervised citation release program and a supportive living program.

Schiraldi also worked with the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, both in New York City and San Francisco for nine years. Among its successful programs was the Parole Assistance Project, which developed social service plans for 156 California Department of Corrections parolees.

A recognized expert in the field of juvenile justice, Schiraldi has provided research findings and commentaries that have been covered by the national media. He has also published numerous papers and articles on the topic, and has spoken before a variety of academic and governmental audiences. He served as an advisor on the Washington, DC, Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Safety and Juvenile Justice Reform in 2001, and has been a member or advisor to the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Inmate Population Management, the California Commission on the Status of African American Men, and was the founding Chair of San Francisco’s Juvenile Probation Commission in 1990.

Schiraldi received his master’s degree in social work from New York University and holds a bachelor of arts degree in social psychology from Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY.

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