On January 5, 2021, Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced that Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, a professional public administrator with more than two decades of child welfare, social work and public-health experience and who most recently served as an Area Director for the N.J. Department of Children and Families (DCF) – Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP), will start this week as the new City of Trenton Director of Health and Human services.

Director Adela M. Ames-Lopez. Photo provided by The City of Trenton.

“Dr. Lopez will be a tremendous asset for the city and its residents,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Her extensive experience in providing critical resources for socially and economically disadvantaged youth and their families makes her a natural fit for the challenges we face every day. We couldn’t have asked for a better candidate to help us navigate the increasing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“As Mary McLeod Bethune stated, ‘If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving,’” said Director Lopez. “This quote inspires me and exemplifies true integrity, transparency, character, servitude, dedication and commitment to a community of great people. As head of this department, part of my mission is to provide quality and extensive resources and effective services through strategic innovation, cost effective measures, and evidence-based outcomes to the City of Trenton.

She continued, “Another objective is to put the citizens within the city of Trenton at the vortex of my mission by collaborating with internal and external constituents for the betterment of the community regarding their health, safety, and welfare by ensuring the execution of preventive care and intervention, with specific focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

Director Lopez has 25 years of experience in public administration, state government and the non-profit sector. Previously, she was the Assistant Area Director for DCF-DCPP’s Hunterdon/Mercer/Somerset/Warren region. There, she provided operational oversight for more than 500 employees who manage DCF’s various programs. She is an expert in providing services for vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, juvenile offenders, individuals struggling with addiction and mental health, domestic violence and sexual abuse victims.

Previously serving as an adjunct professor for Fairleigh Dickenson University’s Public Administration program, Director Lopez has also been involved in various social service and mentoring programs with Trenton Public Schools, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, and the Trenton Police Department. Director Lopez was an active member of the N.J. Child Fatality/Near Fatality Board and she is also a member of the Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected, and Missing Children.

Director Lopez will have to be approved by City Council within the next 90 days.