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TRENTON – Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez today announced the appointment of Lowell Arye to the position of Deputy Commissioner.  Mr. Arye currently serves as Policy Advisor to the Governor on issues related to human services, children and families. 
The Commissioner’s selection reinforces recommendations made during Governor Chris Christie’s fiscal year 2013 Budget Address, in which a restructuring of state government was proposed in order to better serve residents. Included among the changes is the transfer of senior related programs from the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to DHS. Mr. Arye, who is a trained gerontologist and nationally recognized expert in the fields of aging and disability, will be responsible for the transition and oversight of the Division of Aging Services and the Division of Family Development.
“I have known and worked with Lowell for fifteen years,” said Commissioner Velez. “I have great admiration and respect for his intelligence, insight and experience on policy matters. I’m grateful, and the Department is fortunate, that he accepted this new and challenging role.”
During his time as Policy Advisor, Mr. Arye was instrumental in forging a data-match initiative between DHSS and DHS that offered senior citizens who qualify for prescription assistance a streamlined application for food and nutrition support. As a result, more than 30,000 seniors on the Prescription Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) program have been enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP).
Previous to his function in the Governor’s Office, Mr. Arye was Executive Director with the Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities (ABCD). At that time, he and his Board advocated with the Department for increased community placement and supportive service opportunities for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
“I’m honored and incredibly eager to be a part of this important reform process,” said Arye. “It really feels like my policy work in the Governor’s Office and each of my prior career steps has led me to this assignment. It’s an incredible opportunity to help shape and implement the future of senior supports and services in the state.”
Preceding his work with ABCD, Mr. Arye was employed with the US House of Representatives, Select Committee on Aging and in the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He served in various roles with the Subcommittee on Retirement Income and Employment, in the Office of the Secretary at DHHS, at the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Center for Health Policy at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance and has spoken at national and regional conferences on aging and disabilities since 1984.
Mr. Arye holds a Masters in Science in Social Administration with a specialization in gerontology from Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in Cleveland, Ohio and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.
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