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Darlene Ward


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Darlene Ward has been the Executive Director of Welfare Research, Inc. d/b/a WRI Solutions (WRI) since 2017.  WRI provides creative, flexible, and frugal solutions to government and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, fiscal and project management, training, publications, and evaluation. Prior to joining WRI, Darlene Ward was the Assistant Coordinator of the NYS Child Welfare Court Improvement Project (CWCIP) within the New York State Unified Court System (NYS UCS). Darlene had previously served as the State Director for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) programs, and originally moved from that position to NYS UCS to oversee state funding of those programs.  Darlene previously directed two projects at the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS), working with parents with psychiatric disabilities and survivors of sexual abuse, and had formerly worked in both journalism and public relations. 

Darlene holds master's degrees in English from the University at Albany and in Community Psychology from Sage Graduate School.  She is the recipient of the Mastering the Key Connection Award from MHANYS for commitment, perseverance and respect on behalf of survivors of sexual trauma; the Mary Rich Distinguished Service in Child Advocacy from CASANYS; and the John Beaudoin Compassion Award for significant contributions in the area of homelessness, presented by the St. Paul’s Center.

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