City Manager James E. Baker announced today that Jill Baker has been appointed as the new Director for the Chesapeake Department of Human Services. Baker replaces Michelle Cowling, who retired after 30+ years of public service earlier this year. Baker will assume her new role effective on October 23, with a salary of $118,000.
“Caring for our citizens, and particularly our often most vulnerable populations, is a key component of our mission as a city,” said City Manager Baker. “I am confident that with her proven track record and in-depth understanding of both the needs of our residents and the programs and services available, Jill will be an outstanding asset to the Chesapeake team.”
Baker, no relation to the City Manager, comes to Chesapeake from the City of Newport News, where she most recently served as Senior Family Services Supervisor. She also held a number of positions within the Norfolk Department of Human Services, as well as serving as a Senior Child Protective Services Social Worker for the City of Chesapeake from 1988 until 1996.
“Returning to the Chesapeake Department of Human Services and this amazing staff, here in the city I call home, was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Jill Baker said. “This department has a strong reputation throughout the Commonwealth for innovation, responsiveness, and high quality customer service. I look forward to building upon that strong foundation for even greater success in the years to come.”
Baker holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from Norfolk State University and a Bachelor of Social Work from James Madison University. She will lead a department which encompasses Social Services, Juvenile Services, Community Programs, and other related functions.