ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Rockland County Executive Ed Day today named Dr. Penny Jennings as his choice for Commissioner of Human Rights.
"Dr. Penny Jennings is a highly educated, intelligent woman who has already demonstrated her commitment to making Rockland a better place," said Day. "Her contributions have been recognized by many people and organizations including the NAACP which has honored her numerous times for Excellence in Achievement and for Empowering the Lives of Young People."
In this position, she will also be director of Community Development.
Jennings, a resident of Pomona, has focused her career on bringing people together.
She saw a need for an organization to mentor young people. So she founded A.C.T., Inc. - Adults Caring for Teens, a not-for-profit based in Nyack which provides trained adult mentors for at-risk youth.
She has also served as area director for WESTCop, the Rockland Community Action Partnership, which put her in the lead of coordinating anti-poverty strategies in Spring Valley and Haverstraw.
"Penny knows how to bring people together how to engage different parts of the community, how to unite the community behind a common goal," Day said. "These are the skills that she will use as Rockland Commissioner of Human Rights."
In addition to being honored by the NAACP, her talents and commitment have been recognized by the Rockland Youth Bureau, the Rockland District Attorney, the towns of Orangetown and Clarkstown, the village of Nyack, the New York state Assembly and the Westchester Board of Legislators.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Barrack Obama have also recognized and honored Jennings' contributions.
She has had a variety of career experiences that have taught her much about people, communities and the power of government to achieve positive change. She also worked very briefly early in her career as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. Then she was part of the New York City Transit Authority.
Jennings went to Rockland Community College to earn her associate's degree and then earned a master's degree and doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University.
She will be replacing Ram Nagubandi, who resigned. The post pays $102,000 annually.
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