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Denver Human Services Names Jennifer Yeaw Chief of Staff


Denver Human Services (DHS) today welcomed Jennifer Yeaw as its new Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Yeaw will support the implementation of DHS’ new strategic vision and oversee the day-to-day operations of the department and its executive leadership team. Yeaw assumes the role after the retirement of Jay Morein, a venerable human services leader who has served as Chief of Staff since 2015.

“Jennifer is a proven national leader in the human services field, recognized for her work engaging with communities to help address some of their most pressing issues,” Don Mares, executive director of Denver Human Services, said. “Denver Human Services partners with hundreds of local organizations to support one in three Denver residents, and Jennifer’s experience will help our agency as we play an increasingly critical role in supporting those struggling to keep up with a growing city and economy.”

DHS employs more than 1,100 workers who support more than 241,000 clients. DHS programs work to connect clients to jobs, healthcare, food, economic resiliency, housing stability, safety and overall wellness.

“It’s an honor to join Denver Human Services and to bring my experience and perspective to an agency with such a large impact on the community as a whole,” Yeaw said. “I look forward to working with Don Mares and the team at DHS to tackle the complex challenges of a growing city with compassion, creativity, and community-focused solutions.”

Yeaw comes to Denver after serving most recently as the chief of staff to the New York City Department of Social Services, the nation’s largest social services agency, under both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In that role, she helped integrate the city’s previously separate homeless services into a more effective, efficient organization, and developed new rental assistance and anti-displacement programs. She also chaired the agency’s multi-year strategic planning and implementation process to test new public assistance service delivery models that help staff focus more holistically on client needs. Yeaw served the City of New York for over a decade in health and human services roles including as executive officer at the NYC Human Resource Administration, director of government relations at the NYC Department of Homeless Services, and as a special policy advisor in Mayor Bloomberg’s city hall.

Yeaw’s predecessor will depart DHS on January 7 after serving a second stint at the agency. Morein came out of retirement to take on the Chief of Staff role at DHS in 2015 after previous work at DHS as the deputy executive director, in Boulder county as the director of finance and administration for the Department of Housing and Human Services, at the Colorado Department of Human Services as the director of the Office of Performance and Strategic Outcomes, and with Casey Family Programs.

“There are few people who know as much about Human Services as Jay Morein and we have been truly blessed to have him as Chief of Staff for the last three and a half years,” Mares said. “We will greatly miss Jay’s deep knowledge of human services policy and finance, his overwhelmingly positive and kind spirit, and devotion to the people we serve.”

“It’s been an honor to serve with Don Mares at DHS for the last few years as the chief of staff,” Morein said. “I appreciate the enormous role DHS serves in the community and the sacrifices DHS employees make daily to help all those in need. The community, in turn, has been extremely supportive of the work we do, and the importance of the mission we undertake daily. No one has been more supportive than Mayor Hancock, who has been, and continues to be, an inspiring leader to us all. I can’t imagine a better place to work.”