Senate confirms Jennifer Velez as DHS Commissioner
State of New Jersey
Department of Human Services
222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Contact: Ellen Lovejoy
RELEASE: June 21, 2007
Senate confirms Jennifer Velez as DHS Commissioner TRENTON- The Senate today voted unanimously to confirm Jennifer Velez as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, the state’s largest department.
“I’m very honored to have been asked by Governor Corzine and confirmed by the Senate to serve as commissioner of the Department of Human Services,” said Velez. “I look forward to working on behalf of all of our clients and I feel so very privileged to be in a place and in a position to positively impact the Human Services community.”
“Jennifer is a tireless worker who is widely respected by key stakeholders, and she has clearly demonstrated her dedication to issues affecting the men, women and children who are served by DHS,” Governor Jon S. Corzine said when nominating Velez in February. “I am confident that Jennifer’s experience and insight will lead this department through a seamless transition in its continued work to serve our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Velez first joined state government in 1998, serving in the Office of the Counsel to the Governor working on DHS issues. She served as DHS Deputy Commissioner for Family and Community Services since January 2006 before being appointed as acting Commissioner.
As deputy commissioner, Velez oversaw the divisions of Medical Assistance and Health Services, and Family Development. Additionally, she oversaw the Office of Early Care and Education, and the Office of Prevention and Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, and was responsible for administering and managing more than $6 billion in the areas of public welfare and Medicaid.
Previously, from 2003 to January 2006, Velez worked in the Office of the Child Advocate where she was appointed as First Assistant Child Advocate to oversee the creation and management of that independent office. She served as senior associate counsel in the Office of the Counsel to the Governor from 1998 to 2003.
Velez received her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law in Newark, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Drew University. She lives with her husband and their two children in Summit.