Kara P. Wood

Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families


Acting Commissioner Kara P. Wood brings over a decade of government experience and public service in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. to her work at the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Prior to assuming the position of Acting Commissioner of DCF, Wood served as the department's Chief of Staff, with responsibility for the daily operations of DCF and advising the Commissioner on strategic planning, crisis management and communication and policy for child welfare, child behavioral health, prevention and legislation. She also served as a liaison to other government agencies and community stakeholders.

Acting Commissioner Kara P. Wood brings over a decade of government experience and public service in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. to her work at the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Prior to assuming the position of Acting Commissioner of DCF, Wood served as the department's Chief of Staff, with responsibility for the daily operations of DCF and advising the Commissioner on strategic planning, crisis management and communication and policy for child welfare, child behavioral health, prevention and legislation. She also served as a liaison to other government agencies and community stakeholders.

Acting Commissioner Wood previously served as the Director of Project Management at the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, where she created and managed a grants management office and improved coordination of department resources. She has also served as Director of Communications for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and Director of Communications and Policy for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. In both positions, she was responsible for communications with media, outreach, speechwriting, and advising on strategic planning, crisis management and media relations.

Prior to moving to New Jersey, Wood served as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the United States Department of Justice, and the Director of Communications for the National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington D.C. Wood began her career in public service as Deputy Press Secretary to United States Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.

Wood graduated Cum Laude from Georgetown University, with a B.S. in International Politics and a minor in African Studies. She lives in Monmouth County with her husband and two children.

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