As Gov.-elect Ned Lamont SOM ’80 — a business executive who just narrowly secured a spot as Connecticut’s next governor — prepares to take office, he and Lt. Gov.-elect Susan Bysiewicz ’83 have appointed two Yale psychiatry professors to two transition committees, according to a Nov. 28 press release from the Yale School of Medicine.
Derrick Gordon and Nadia Ward secured spots on the human services and education policy transition committees, respectively. The professors are members of a group of leaders selected from Connecticut to aid the Lamont administration’s transition, according to the press release.
“We, in the Department of Psychiatry, are thrilled that Governor-Elect Lamont has selected two faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry to serve on his transition team,” wrote chair of the Yale Psychiatry Department John Krystal. “Our Department is invested in seeing that the fundamental breakthroughs emerging from our science have ‘real world’ impact.”
After appointments to the committee were made, all transition committees immediately began to develop proposed policy platforms. WTNH reported that roughly 500 committee members attended Lamont’s first policy summit on Nov. 27 at Eastern Connecticut State University. The members of the transition committees will draft their policy recommendations by Dec. 12, according to the School of Medicine press release.
“I don’t want this to be one of those things where you write a really great report, and it ends up on some bookshelf somewhere,” Lamont said at the summit. “What a waste of all the talent we have in this room.”
Gordon directs the Yale School of Medicine’s Research, Policy and the Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center. His work has focused on men’s health, as well as their interactions with family and community.
Ward is the deputy director of the Yale Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology Training Program and is also the director of Urban Education, Prevention and Policy Research at The Consultation Center. Her research has aimed to understand how a range of factors influence low-income and minority youth outcomes.
According to Krystal, the psychiatry department recognizes how important it is that its faculty members engage with the policy implications of their work.
“We could not be more proud of our two faculty members selected for this important task,” he wrote in an email.
The Psychiatry Department offers many programs that have had “enormous effects” on the local populations that they treat, Krystal wrote. These programs relate to challenges such as homelessness, crime and disability.
“Drs. Gordon and Ward are outstanding examples of Yale faculty who blend research with teaching and community service,” wrote Jack Tebes, professor of psychiatry and director of The Consultation Center, in an email to the News. “As clinical/community psychologists, they each have a long track record of collaborating with communities to have an impact on the health and well-being of individuals, youth, and families. I am sure they will be an asset to the Governor-Elect’s transition team.”
The Connecticut Post reported that there are 15 policy transition committees — including health care, criminal justice and digital strategy — that have been tasked with drafting a “roadmap” for the administration. Policy generated by the committees, according to the Post, will target a number of issues but will all relate to “creating jobs and growing the economy.”
Lamont told the Hartford Courant that he will recruit those involved with business and nonprofit organizations to his transition team to give a “fresh perspective” on policy. He said that pairing these professionals with policymakers with governmental experience will drive change.
Leaders of the 15 transition teams will provide reports of their work between Dec. 17 and 19 and will then brief the governor-elect on their reports on Jan. 3 or 4, according to the School of Medicine press release.
“This is a fresh start that none of us are going to squander,” Lamont said, according to the Hartford Courant. “It starts right here with our policy teams. I don’t want this to be one of those things where you write a really great report and it ends up on some bookshelf somewhere. What a waste that would be. What a waste of all the talent we have in this room.”
Lamont will be sworn in as the 89th governor of Connecticut on Jan. 9 next year.
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