Chicago -- Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director
Jess McDonald has named Martha Allen as the new DCFS Chief of Staff.
Allen, a lifelong Chicagoan, first served at DCFS as the Chief of Communications
from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 1999, Allen served as Press Secretary
at the Illinois Department of Human Services. She returned to DCFS as
the Director of External Affairs in July 1999. In July 2000, Allen became
the national co-chair of the American Public Human Services Association’s
Child Welfare Task Force.
“Martha Allen exemplifies all that is good in public service: competence,
integrity and hard work. She is able to be critical of the child welfare
system and help shape strategies to improve it. Her ability to communicate
in a ‘straight talk’ manner will keep DCFS on track to serve
our children and families better,” said Director McDonald.
Before joining DCFS, Allen worked seven years as a Chicago journalist:
from 1985 to 1986 at the Chicago Reporter, from 1986 to 1989 as investigative
producer for then Channel 2 Anchorman Walter Jacobson and from 1989 to
1992 as political producer for Channel 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery.
Prior to becoming a journalist, Allen taught in the Chicago Public Schools
for eight years.
Allen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Chicago Teachers College
and a Master of Science in Journalism Degree from Northwestern University’s
Medill School of Journalism.