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TRENTON - Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly today announced that Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD) Chief of Staff Thomas Papa has been chosen by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) as the July 2015 Gary Smith Scholarship Award Recipient.  This scholarship award funds the honorees’ participation in the University of Delaware Leadership Consortium, held twice yearly.“It is an honor for Tom to be recognized for his leadership abilities as a manager in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Acting Commissioner Connolly. “I know that he’ll offer his expertise and insight to the consortium.”

Mr. Papa, a resident of Hamilton Square, NJ, has been with DDD for more than six years.  As Chief of Staff, he oversees DDD’s internal operations (Fiscal, Human Resources and Information Technology) for its $1.64 billion budget and more than 8,000 employees.   He will attend the week-long leadership development program, which is designed for both current executive-level leaders and emerging leaders and focuses on the Institute is on assessing and strengthening leadership skills, setting organizational direction and understanding the future of the intellectual and developmental disabilities field.

The Gary Smith Scholarship for Public Managers was established by the NASDDDS Board of Directors in honor of Gary Smith, who served in senior management positions in the states of Illinois and Colorado; and as the Director of Special Projects for NASDDDS. The scholarship fund in Gary Smith's name is a legacy to support others who work for state, local, or the federal government in their pursuit to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

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