The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association recently announced the election of William C. Bell, Ph.D. as chair of its board of trustees.
Dr. Bell, a 35-year veteran and leader of the human and child services fields, is the current president and CEO of the national foster care and child welfare foundation, Casey Family Programs (CFP). He has led CFP since 2006, when he earned the top spot after years of exemplary service as the organization’s executive vice president for child and family services.
Dr. Bell’s time before CFP was dominated by work in the public sector. He served as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), managing a staff of more than 7,000 and a nearly $2.5 billion budget as he carried out the department’s mission in providing services for the millions of children in and around the city. Dr. Bell also earned this leadership position through promotion, having been ACS’s Division of Child Protection’s deputy commissioner for nearly five years prior.
Dr. Bell, a native of Mississippi, grew up in the South before making his move to New York. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in biology and behavioral science from Cleveland, Mississippi’s Delta State University. It was after this undergraduate work that he made his big move.
He attended the Hunter College School of Social Work at the City University of New York (CUNY), earning his master’s degree before continuing on to his postdoctoral work also at CUNY. A few years later, Dr. Bell emerged with his Ph.D. in social welfare ready to truly begin what would become a transformative and influential career.
He would get his first real start in the early 1990s as an associate executive director for Miracle Makers, a private, minority-owned, nonprofit child and family services organization. Soon after, Dr. Bell made his move to the public sector. He took a job as deputy commissioner of field services and contract agency case management for the New York City Human Resources Administration. Two years later Dr. Bell was a deputy commissioner at New York City’s ACS, which he would lead as commissioner before leaving for CFP in 2006.
This career would earn him acknowledgment in his home state; as the Mississippi Senate, House of Representatives and Governor passed a Senate Concurrent Resolution in 2017 recognizing him for his life of service to the nation’s children and families.
“Dr. Bell is a thought leader who has made considerable impact in the field of child welfare,” said National CASA Association CEO Tara Perry in a press release about the election. “We are thrilled to be able to leverage his expertise, leadership and insights to continue to advance National CASA’s mission. Dr. Bell’s support will help ensure our success during this time of growth and development for our national network of programs.”
Dr. William Bell’s election as chair of the board of trustees of the National CASA Association takes effect immediately.