About Us

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Leadership & Staff

Melanie Hartzog
Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund-New York


In August of 2011, Melanie Hartzog was appointed the Family Services Coordinator in the New York City Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services where she oversaw several city agencies responsible for the delivery of social services and justice programs. Hartzog was also Project Director for the Young Men’s Initiative, a bold and innovative public/private partnership aimed at reducing disparities between economic and social outcomes of young men of color and other demographic groups in New York City.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, she served as the Deputy Commissioner for early childhood services at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. During her tenure, Hartzog advocated for, designed and implemented initiatives to maximize utilization of child care resources and to increase efficiency and access to quality subsidized child care, culminating in the release of the City’s EarlyLearn NYC procurement in 2011.

In her decade in public service, Hartzog also led a social services unit in the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, and was Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Human Services Council of New York City, Inc. She has a Master of Science degree from the New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and Bachelor of Arts from Eckerd College. Her predecessor, the Reverend Emma Jordan-Simpson served for five years and returned to a full time ministry at the beginning of this year.