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Former Nonprofit Director Named Human Services Commissioner

Jan. 11, 2007 — Gov. John deJongh Jr. announced Thursday that Chris Finch, former executive director of Lutheran Social Services, has accepted the position of Commissioner of Human Services, according to Government House release.
Finch has served for more than 15 years as executive director of Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and has helped oversee service growth in the areas of residential care, housing, disaster response and outreach programs for children, seniors and persons with disabilities, the release noted.
DeJongh said from Government House that Finch has the experience and the personality needed to lead an agency such as Human Services whose mission is multifaceted: “Chris served as co-chair of the Health and Human Services group on the Transition Team and showed his knowledge of the issues and challenges confronting the department.”
Finch has a bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Texas and a master's in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Prior to becoming executive director at LSS, Finch was the organization’s assistant executive director and served as its Hotline/Teenline coordinator.
Finch was a social worker in the late '70s for the then V.I. Department of Social Welfare. Before coming to the Virgin Islands in 1978, he was a counselor and attendant for residential facilities in Austin Texas.
Finch said he was very honored and humbled to have been given this opportunity. “I have worked closely with the Department of Human Services for several decades. It is an agency filled with wonderful people, and I am pleased to be offered the opportunity to assist in further improving the numerous services the agency provides.”
The release continues: "Finch is no stranger to community services as he holds membership on the board of directors of Our Town Frederiksted and is a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller. He was named the 2006 Rotary Mid-Isle Man of the Year. He has also been previously honored with recognition as St. Croix Social Worker of the Year and VI Social Work Pioneer.
He is married to Eleanor Hirsh; together they have two adult children: Aaron and Andrea.
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