Moira O’Neill, PhD, RN RN Director
Moira O'Neill is the first Director of the NH Office of the Child Advocate. She was selected by
the Oversight Commission on Children's Services and appointed by Governor Christopher Sununu and
the Executive Council in January 2018. A nurse by profession, Moira has experience across all health
care settings. She earned Master's degrees in Nursing and Public Health and a PhD at Yale University.
The core of her scholarship is policy and management of care systems, program evaluation, diagnosing
organizations, building community-based services. For 11 years, Moira served as an Assistant Child
Advocate with the CT Office of the Child Advocate.
As the Director of the NH Office of the Child Advocate, Moira sets the mission, vision and priorities
for the oversight of New Hampshire's child protection and juvenile justice services. Under her
leadership, the Office has instituted a pioneering approach to evaluating child welfare services grounded
in safety science as a means for both strengthening and holding systems accountable. Moira takes what is
learned from the experiences of children and families themselves to inform advocacy for responsive policies
and practices in children's interests.
Emily Lawrence, Associate Director & Counsel
Emily Lawrence is the Associate Director and Counsel for the NH Office of the Child Advocate.
She holds a BA from Barnard College and a JD from New England Law School. Having started her
career in early education, Emily brings to her work a deep sensibility for child development.
As a law clerk with both the NH Superior and Supreme Courts Emily developed studied expertise
in the law and how it is interpreted. All of her experience informs the Office's reviews of DCYF's
implementation of the law in the delivery of services and the care and protection of children.
Emily consults on the development of new legislation, monitors policy development and its
implementation. Her advocacy is informed by the special reviews she conducts when individual
cases have system-wide implications.
Jason Taylor Assistant Child Advocate
Jason Taylor joined the NH Office of the Child Advocate in March of 2020 as New Hampshire's
first Assistant Child Advocate. He holds a B.A. from UMass Lowell. Jason brings to the team
15 plus years of experience within child welfare, having previously held positions in the
Division of Children, Youth and Families. As Assistant Child Advocate, Jason's focus is
working directly with children and all involved parties to ensure that their concerns regarding
the system are addressed. The relationships he has built, extensive knowledge of child
protection and juvenile justice, and passion for helping youth in New Hampshire bolster the
mission of the NH Office of the Child Advocate. In his free time, Jason is a musician and
enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Karen Kimel Program Specialist
Karen Kimel earned her A.A. from the New Hampshire Technical Institute and is a Certified Public
Manager. She has more than 10 years of experience in managing, training and advising the public,
municipalities and state entities on various programs. As Program Specialist, her role is
office operations for a small busy office with the same needs as a large department. Her duties
include scheduling outreach opportunities and trainings, coordinating travel and meetings, maintaining
a case management system and the two office websites, marketing, maintaining the social media platforms,
and performing the administrative budget, purchasing and personnel tasks with the assistance of the
Department of Administrative Services. A New Hampshire native, she enjoys family time and recently
became active with her girls in Girls Scouts.
Caitrin Perry Legal Secretary
Caitrin Perry earned her B.A. from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.
She is currently working on her Masters of Social Work from Capella University.
In addition, she is the Secretary for the Capella University Social Work Club,
coordinating professional development seminars and outreach opportunities for
those looking to promote change within their own communities. As the Office’s
Legal Secretary, she is on the front line in data collection, bringing issues
and trends in incidents to the Child Advocate’s attention. She also assists
with broader investigations and reviews, synthesizes and summarizes research
findings for issue briefs, public testimony, presentations and media statements.
With her busy, blended family of seven, she enjoys spending free time at the
lake and going on surprise adventures exploring New England. She is reminded
daily how precious childhood truly is.