Our Staff

Executive Director

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for WRI's staff and programs, and the execution of its mission. Prior to joining WRI, Darlene Ward was the Assistant Coordinator of the NYS Child Welfare Court Improvement Project (CWCIP) within the New York State Unified Court System (NYS UCS). CWCIP is a federally-funded initiative that supports the Family Court's mandate to promote the safety, permanence and well-being of abused and neglected children. Darlene had also worked as the NYS UCS Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Assistance Program Director, and had previously served as the Executive Director of CASA: Advocates for Children of NYS, the state association for CASA programs. She had directed two projects at the Mental Health Association in New York State, working with parents with psychiatric disabilities and survivors of sexual abuse, and had formerly worked in both journalism and public relations.

Darlene holds master's degrees in English from the University at Albany and in Community Psychology from Sage Graduate School.

staff bio