ATLANTA – Governor Brian Kemp announced the formation of the nomination committee for Georgia’s child advocate. According to the Georgian Code, a nomination committee must be set up to recommend at least three candidates who are qualified as child advocates. The position is open due to the resignation of current attorney Rachel Davidson, who has accepted a different position.
Under state law, the nomination committee must review applicants for the position and recommend at least three candidates to the governor for review. The committee will consist of Tom Rawlings, Frank Berry and Melissa Carter.
Berry is the commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health. In that role, he heads the $ 16 billion agency responsible for purchasing, planning, and regulating health care services, and improving health outcomes for Georgians. Prior to joining DCH, Berry was Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. He served in this role for more than four years and has more than 35 years of public service experience.
Rawlings was named director of the state’s Department of Family and Children Services by Governor Kemp in February 2019, where he supports the efforts of more than 6,000 DFCS workers protecting Georgia’s most vulnerable children and helping the state’s struggling families. Previously, he was the agency’s interim director under Governor Nathan Deal. Prior to joining DFCS, Rawlings was Georgia’s child advocate for child protection and led efforts to improve the state’s child protection system.
Deal appointed him Child Advocate in January 2017, and he was director of that agency from 2007 to 2010 under Governor Sonny Perdue. Rawlings is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Georgia School of Law and holds a Masters Degree in International Human Rights Law with Honors from Oxford University.
Carter is a clinical professor at Emory Law School and executive director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center. She has over 18 years of policy development and law advocacy experience, including the efforts that led to the passage of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act and dozen of state child protection laws. Carter serves in various other roles on several statewide policy advisory boards, including the First Lady’s Children’s Cabinet, the State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, and several not-for-profit boards of directors. She also holds an additional teaching position as a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Carter earned a bachelor of science degree, summa cum laude, and a doctorate in law from the University of Illinois.
Applications are accepted from Monday at 8:00 a.m. to Friday at 5:00 p.m. Qualified applicants should email Carter a resume at Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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