Fordham Law Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Clinical Professor Leah Hill recently was appointed to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board, a new initiative to drive policy supporting children’s health and well-being across 24 city agencies.
Hill described her appointment as a “special honor” since the work of the cabinet is the kind of policy initiative she has advocated for throughout her 30-year career teaching, lecturing, and consulting on family law across the United States and abroad as a Fulbright scholar in Barbados.
“It’s really an honor, privilege, and joy to see this come to fruition,” she said. The interdisciplinary initiative aims to serve children and families in a supportive, proactive way that she and many of her colleagues have championed for years as an alternative to a more crisis-driven, reactionary policy approach.
The advisory board features leaders from the advocacy, faith-based, and arts community as well as key players from government agencies who will use their expertise and relevant family data to craft programs on education and health that lead to positive outcomes for children and their families.
The mayor’s press release announcing the board touted Hill’s varied experience in New York and beyond. Her studies and travels have made her aware that the challenges families face in New York City are similar to those faced in other major cities, she said.
Hill joined Fordham Law’s staff in 1996. One year later, she became a steering committee member for Fordham’s Interdisciplinary Center for Families. Since 2003, she has served as a member of the advisory board of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, Attorneys for Children Advisory Committee. She also served from 2004–06 on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary.
Her latest appointment is, in many ways, a “culmination” of her career’s work in family law from representing parents with special needs children to studying failed child protection policies around the country.
“Advocating for vulnerable families has always been a passion of mine and that’s why I am excited to be part of this cabinet,” Hill said.