Elaine Zimmerman is the Region I Administrator for the Administration of Children and Families, representing the six states of New England. Her agency oversees work in child support, child care, refugee resettlement, child welfare, TANF, youth homelessness and runways, family economic stability, and early childhood development, and other human service innovations.
Previous to this, she served as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Children where she designed state children’s initiatives and crafted model policy to improve child outcomes. She reported to the CT legislature on strategy, policy and budget recommendations. Her expert trend analysis, constituency development, and strength in framing issues, assisted in the passage of Connecticut’s School Readiness law, Early Reading Success, Connecticut's Blueprint in Reading, the Child Poverty Reduction bill, the State Prevention Council, the Children and Disaster Act, the Safe Learning Act, the Parent Trust Act and An Act Concerning the Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Health of Youths.
Ms. Zimmerman is recognized for her policy acumen and commitment to community capacity. She brings in broad and unexpected stakeholders to child policy discussion and ensures family engagement and broad public access to information. Keenly focused on family civics, model policy and civil rights, she weaves the three together in her leadership role for children.
Ms. Zimmerman envisioned and created the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) to assure that parents were an active and informed constituency for children. Noting that parents are distanced from policy discourse, she created a democracy school for families that substantively teaches how change occurs for children in the states. For this work, she was given the Good Housekeeping Award for Women in Government.
Nationally, she was the past Staff Chair to the Human Services Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) for all fifty states and serves on NCSL’s policy committee on food and hunger. She also serves on the Nemours Foundation Board and the Pew Home Visitation Advisory Committee. .
Ms. Zimmerman is the author of several articles on family and work, child development, parent leadership, and community building. She is a published poet, essayist, and political analyst. Ms. Zimmerman has a B.A. with a dual major in Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has a Masters in Community Mental Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Her family resides in Hamden, Connecticut.