Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families
Olivia Golden, Ph.D., was sworn-in as the assistant secretary for children
and families at the Department of Health and Human Services Nov. 12, 1997.
She was nominated by President Clinton April 16, 1997 and confirmed Nov.
The assistant secretary for the children and families oversees the agency
that brings together a broad range of over 60 federal programs that address
the economic well-being and healthy development of children and families.
Those programs include Head Start, the new Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families program, child support enforcement, foster care, adoption, child
care, child abuse and neglect, and refugee, Native American, and developmental
disability programs, the Community Services, Social Services, and Low Income
Home Energy Assistance block grants, and the Family Preservation/Family
Support Services program. ACF has a budget of more than $37 billion and
a staff of more than 1,500 employees. Golden served as acting assistant
secretary for children and families from Sept. 30, 1996 to Nov. 12, 1997.
As acting assistant secretary, Golden helped oversee implementation of
the reforms in welfare enacted this year under the Personal Responsibility
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.
From Nov. 23, 1993 to Sept. 30, 1996, she served as commissioner on
children, youth and families, a component of ACF. As commissioner,
Golden helped create the new Early Head Start program, which extends the
benefits of Head Start to infants and toddlers; implemented the 1994 reauthorization
of Head Start to ensure quality services in all programs; created the new
Child Care Bureau as a new Federal focus on child care; and helped lay
the groundwork for the President's Adoption 2002 initiative and the 1997
Before joining the Administration, Golden was director of programs and
policy for the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.,where she was
responsible for policy development, advocacy, research and writing across
a range of children's issues.
Golden was a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy
School of Government between 1987 and 1991, focusing on child and family
policy, employment and training, and public management. She served as budget
director for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Human Services from
1983 to 1985. Golden was also a candidate for the Massachusetts Senate
in 1986 and she chaired the Advisory Committee on Children and Youth for
Cambridge, Mass. from 1990-1991.
Author of Poor Children and Welfare Reform (Auburn House Press,
1992), Golden has written on policy and management issues concerning children
and their families. Her research has focused on the way services work for
children and families, including issues of innovation, collaboration and
effective service delivery.
Golden received a Doctorate in 1983 and a Masters degree in 1981 in
public policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
She also received a B.A. degree in philosophy and government from Harvard
University in 1976.
Born in May 23, 1955, in New York City. Golden resides in Washington,
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