The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) announced today the appointment of Jan Christiansen as its next Executive Director. GCADV provides quality support, comprehensive training, and legislative advocacy for domestic violence agencies, advocates, and communities statewide.

Christiansen has extensive experience in the field of domestic violence and knows GCADV and the Georgia community well. She has served as the Associate Director for GCADV since 2009 and filled the Interim Executive Director role since December 2012.

“I am delighted to be joining GCADV as its next Executive Director,” Christiansen said. “I have enjoyed serving as both the Associate Director and the Interim Executive Director, and fully understand the challenges that lie before us. With those challenges we also have unique opportunities over the next few years to work with our wonderful members and allies to increase capacity on best practices for serving domestic violence survivors and to advocate for legislation that increases safety for survivors and sustainability of domestic violence programs that provide vital services in their local communities. I feel privileged to have the chance to work for an organization and with people who are passionate about making a difference for domestic violence survivors and their communities.”

“We are very grateful to former Executive Director Nicole Lesser for GCADV’s achievements during her tenure. We are thus fortunate, and greatly pleased, to have recruited an exceptional leader and manager as her successor. Moreover, by turning to an invested staff member who has already held a leadership role, we will ensure consistency and a smooth transition,” said Amy Weaver, current President of the GCADV Board of Directors.

GCADV is the federally recognized source for expertise and training on the issue of domestic violence in Georgia. GCADV’s intent and constant focus is on recognizing the correlation between domestic violence, poverty, race, mental health, disability, immigration status and more. As the clearinghouse for domestic violence organizations throughout Georgia, GCADV looks for solutions that acknowledge the dynamic, complex, and interconnected nature of the work that we do.

Christiansen spent the first part of her career at local domestic violence organizations in Florida and Vermont, holding senior leadership positions before moving to Georgia to work with GCADV. Ms. Christiansen has previously held two Executive Director positions: Executive Director of Micah’s Place in Nassau County Florida from 2003-2007 and Executive Director of Women Helping Battered Women in Burlington, Vermont from 2008-2009. Christiansen began her career in the Domestic Violence Movement in 1995 at Shelter House in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where she worked in various roles helping battered women until 2003.

Nicole Lesser, former Executive Director, welcomed the appointment.

“Jan Christiansen has been a dedicated and highly effective staff leader, and it is a great pleasure to know the board has chosen someone who is highly committed and experienced. She is the ideal person to take the organization into the next stage of its development.”

Christiansen brings a wealth of senior management and domestic violence movement experience to this role. Jan Christiansen will fill the position immediately.

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