View DCF's Table of Organization
Contact information for the DCF executive staff
Meet the Commissioner
Please find below the Department of Children and Families executive staff biographies (listed alphabetically).
Joseph E. Ribsam Jr., Esq.
Lisa von Pier
Elizabeth W. Bowman is DCF's Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Performance Management and Accountability.
In this role, Bowman serves as a member of the department's executive management team, and is responsible for providing leadership to the development and implementation of performance improvement and accountability work across the divisions and offices of the department.
Bowman has direct oversight for DCF's Office of Performance Management and Accountability, which includes all quality assurance and program evaluation, information technology and reporting, child fatality and near fatality case practice reviews, child abuse investigations in institutional settings, and licensing operations for adoption, children's residential treatment, and child care centers.
Since 2010, Bowman has been DCF's director of Quality. Prior to joining DCF, Bowman worked as the Assistant Director - Office of Child Welfare Initiatives at the Rutgers University School of Social Work, Institute for Families; and Program Manager for the NJ Child Welfare Training Partnership.
Bowman also worked for DCF from 2006 to 2007 as a Training Manager for the NJ Child Welfare Training Academy. She began her career working for the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), holding a variety of positions primarily in the field of educational program development.
Bowman earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Drew University in Madison, NJ, and a master's degree in Social Services from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She is a licensed clinical social worker with experience working in the non-profit arena in programs serving primarily women and children prior to her state service.
Director, Clinical Services
Mollie Greene was appointed as DCF's Director of Clinical Services in July 2014. In this role, Ms. Greene serves as a member of the department's executive management team and is responsible for management and oversight of DCF's clinical team services and initiatives, substance abuse initiatives, and the Office of Child and Family Health.
Ms. Greene comes to DCF after seven years at the Department of Human Services, where she first served as the Deputy of Quality Assurance for the Division of Addiction Services. She later became Assistant Division Director of the Office of Care Management within DHS' Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, where she was responsible for development and implementation of the behavioral health components of New Jersey's Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver.
Ms. Greene entered state service in 2007 with many years of experience in behavioral health, including work in direct care, administration, and advocacy. She was the Executive Director of a multi-service residential treatment agency serving women with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness for six years before being recruited by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of New Jersey to establish the Work First New Jersey Substance Abuse Initiative. While at the National Council, Greene was a core member of the team that developed a cross-systems approach to delivering screening, engagement, treatment, and care management services to parents involved with child welfare and the state's welfare to work program.
Ms. Greene was named New Jersey Task Force on Women and Addiction Woman of the Year in 2000. She holds a Master's degree in American Literature and is a New Jersey Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor.
Director, Information Technology
Linda Holland is the Director of Information Technology for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. In this role, Ms. Holland serves as a member of the department's executive management team and is responsible for providing leadership, vision, planning and management for all areas of information technology. This includes directing all IT operations to meet the department's goals and objectives as well as the support and maintenance of existing infrastructure, applications, and development of new technical solutions.
Ms. Holland brings over 24 years of experience in child welfare/information technology and was instrumental in the successful completion of the Department's SACWIS system (NJS). Additionally, Ms. Holland collaborated with the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services to launch the Kinship Legal Guardianship and Relative Care initiatives. Ms. Holland continually works with other state agencies on various initiatives, such as data warehousing, mobility and data security.
Ms. Holland's personal academic achievements include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kean College in Union, NJ and a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY.
Director, Strategic Development
Debra Lancaster is the Director of Strategic Development for the Department of Children and Families. The Office of Strategic Development is a Department level office focused on efforts to integrate trauma informed evidence based practices into the DCF service array. In this role, Debra also leads efforts focused on performance-based contracting and shifting the service array to be responsive to the changing needs of the women, children, youth and families we serve.
Previously, Ms. Lancaster served as DCF's Director of the Office of Child and Family Health where she was instrumental in the successful implementation of DCF's Child Health Units, our Psychotropic Medication policy, new Forensic Guidelines, and most recently the launch of our Keeping Families Together pilot.
Prior to joining DCF, Debra worked with UMDNJ's Department of Family Medicine/Research Division and was on the faculty of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University for 10 years where she directed a training and education consortium that focused on achieving organizational change through participatory education and training programs. Debra's long standing interests include improving the quality of care in the human service arena. Debra has a Master's Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations.
Director, Children's System of Care
Elizabeth Manley, LSW is the Director for the Children's System of Care. In this capacity Ms. Manley has direct oversight of the statewide child behavioral health, substance abuse and development/intellectual disabilities systems. This includes a wide range of community base services, inpatient units and residential treatment centers.
Prior to joining DCF Ms. Manley was the CEO of Caring Partners of Morris/Sussex, Inc., a Care Management Organization (CMO) specializing in working with youth with complex behavioral health challenges. Prior to this position, Ms. Manley worked for Capitol County Children's Collaboration, the Mercer County CMO, as the Director of Operations, since it's inception in 2002. She came to that position after spending 15 years at SERV Behavioral Health, in various positions with her final position at SERV as the Director of Children's Services for SERV Behavioral Health.
MS. Manley earned a B.S. degree in Health Education from William Paterson University and a M.S.W. from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Acting Deputy Commissioner
Joseph E. Ribsam Jr., Esq. is the Acting Deputy Commissioner. In this role, Joe serves as the primary point of contact between DCF and the Attorney General's Office, the Administrative Office of the Courts and the Public Defender's Office, the Governor's Policy Office, the Office of Counsel to the Governor, the Governor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, legislative offices and the Office of Legislative Services. He also oversees legislative affairs, policy and regulatory development and modifications, and all legal liaison work between the divisions and offices of DCF and the Attorney General's Office. Mr. Ribsam also serves as the Northeast State representative on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.
Previously, Mr. Ribsam served as DCF's Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs where he was the department's primary liaison to the Governor's office on matters regarding policy, legislation and intergovernmental affairs as well as legislative offices and the Office of Legislative Services. In that role, Mr. Ribsam testified on behalf of DCF before legislative committees regarding legislation of significance to the Department. He also managed the department's legislative services including tracking, reviewing and advising on the impact of proposed legislation and responding to inquiries from legislative offices. In addition, he directed the department's policy development.
Upon joining DCF in 2008, Mr. Ribsam served as a legal specialist within DCF's Office of Legal Affairs where he provided general legal review and guidance to executive staff regarding a range of issues such as: preparation and implementation of new legislation, regulations, and policy; compliance with federal and state mandates; drafting and reviewing Final Agency Decisions; the operation of the department-run regional schools; and the impact of precedential court decisions on policy and practice.
Mr. Ribsam has also worked in private practice where he focused on family law and related matters. He completed a clerkship in the Middlesex County Family Court in New Brunswick. Before earning his juris doctorate from Rutgers School of Law - Newark, Mr. Ribsam taught English at Dunn Middle School in Trenton. He earned a bachelor's degree in History/Secondary Education from The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ.
Chief of Staff
Barbara Rusen is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Children and Families overseeing Administration; Communications and Public Affairs; Advocacy; Child and Family Health; Education; Child Welfare Training Academy and Partnership; and Information Technology.
Ms. Rusen brings over 23 years of experience in developing strategic plans, models, processes, needs assessments, curriculum, and evaluation components that result in producing effective organizational products and services. Prior to coming to DCF, Ms. Rusen was the Acting Director for the Institute for Families at the School of Social Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey where she has organized, developed, interpreted, and managed policies for remote offices throughout the state that lead to the increased service capacity and stability of human service professionals ensuring that children and their families receive all available support services.
Along with Ms. Rusen's commitment to children and families in New Jersey, she has been actively involved in collaborating with other state and national agencies highlighting New Jersey's diverse needs while leveraging work perspectives and efforts from other agencies. Ms. Rusen has been an educator, guest speaker, committee member, and child advocate at state and national conferences and meetings such as National Child Support Enforcement Agency, National Judicial Task Force, New Jersey Child Support Conference, Judicial College, and National Staff Development and Training Association, serving as a resource for other similar programs and initiatives that enhance children and family services.
Ms. Rusen's personal academic achievements include a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Management, Project Management Critical Skills Certificate, and a Master's Degree in Education.
Director, Family and Community Partnerships
Charmaine L. Thomas is the Director of Family and Community Partnerships. In this role, Ms. Thomas oversees a statewide network of child abuse prevention programs to strengthen and support families. Before being appointed as Director, Ms. Thomas has held numerous leadership positions within DCF, examples include the Camden County Area Director and Deputy Division Director and IAIU Statewide Administrator.
Most recently Ms. Thomas served as the Camden County Area Director for Child Protection and Permanency where she partnered with the community and DCF staff to understand our children, youth, women, and families in order to assist in identifying services so that everyone individual DCF serves is successful. Prior to that she was the Deputy Division Director where she was responsible for overseeing the statewide operations of the Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit and management of the Congregate Care Risk Management Team that identified high risk facilities involved across the Office of Licensing, Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit, Evaluation Support and Special Investigations (ESSI), Children's System of Care and Child Protection and Permanency. Ms. Thomas has over 28 years of service in working with children and their families within the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Family Services.
Charmaine earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Hampton Institute and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Policy and Administration from Rutgers University.
Director, Office of Adolescent Services
Jessica Trombetta, LCSW is the Director of the Office of Adolescent Services. The Office of Adolescent Services is a Department level office focused on prioritizing the needs of youth who are aging out/aging in, ensuring that DCF staff has the resources they need to service these youth, and building strong collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders and advocates serving these youth.
Most recently Ms. Trombetta served as an Associate Director at Family Connections Inc. where she supervised community based programs and a therapeutic afterschool program that provided case management and clinical services to at-risk children, adolescents, older adults, and families. In this role, Jessica gained extensive experience in working with youth involved with DCF, including CP&P (formerly DYFS) and CSOC (formerly DCBHS). Additionally, Ms. Trombetta has provided direct clinical services and case management as well as clinical and programmatic supervision.
Jessica earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Ithaca College and a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Direct Practice to Children and Families from Rutgers University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and clinical supervisor with extensive training regarding children and adolescents with complex trauma and family systems theory.
Assistant Commissioner, Child Protection and Permanency
Lisa von Pier is the Assistant Commissioner serving as the Director of Child Protection and Permanency. Previously, Lisa was the Director of Family and Community Partnerships, which oversees a statewide network of child abuse prevention programs to strengthen and support families. She also served as the Acting Director of the Division on Women and oversaw the transition of DOW from the Department of Community Affairs to DCF. Lisa brings a wealth of child welfare experience to her post. Most recently she served as the DYFS Deputy Director for Case Practice where she led a team solely dedicated to the implementation of improved case practice.
Previously, she served as the DYFS Area Director for the Burlington/Mercer Area Office where she also led two of the case practice immersion sites. Prior to that, she held a supervisor's position within the Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships, where she supported seven counties in beginning prevention initiatives. Lisa has worked on child abuse and neglect cases for the state and Monmouth County judiciaries, and worked for a non-profit agency serving adolescents. While at the Administrative Office of the Courts, Lisa was the Family Division's representative to the Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and has served on its Prevention Subcommittee for many years.
Doris Windle is the Chief Administrator, Business Operations, for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF). In this role, Doris is responsible for the administration of the business functions of the department including budget planning and operations, revenue development and collection, financial reporting, Title IV-E eligibility determinations, accounting, procurement and contract administration. Previously, Doris held the position of Director, Office of Budget and Revenue at DCF, where she was responsible for the planning, preparation and monitoring of the department's $1.6 billion budget, including its spending plan and related fiscal analysis as well as revenue development and collection.
Prior to the creation of DCF in 2006, Doris worked as Budget Administrator in the Office of Children's Services at the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS). In this role Doris managed a $1.1 billion budget, and provided direction and assistance to constituent divisions in budgeting and financial administration including the development of policies and procedures.
Additionally, Doris was Chief Budget Officer at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) where she developed planning documents, salary analysis, revenue projections and budget data.
In all of her previous positions, Doris has prepared budget briefing materials and data for legislative hearings.
Doris earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science with a concentration in business from Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ.