Press Releases


Community Advocate and Former State Rep. Maria E. Cimini Joins DHS Leadership Team

Starting today, DHS has a new Associate Director of Policy Analysis, Research and Development that is no stranger to many of you.

Maria Cimini, a former coordinator of the Rhode Island Coalition of the Homeless and SNAP Outreach at the University of Rhode Island, is the newest member of the DHS team. In addition, she was assistant director and volunteer coordinator at the South Providence Neighborhood Ministries.

Cimini was also a state General Assembly member in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015 for the Providence area, District 7, which she still resides in.

"I am thrilled to bring on board such an advocate for all Rhode Islanders," said DHS Director Courtney E. Hawkins. "She is a true believer that we only move forward as a state together."

In her new role, Cimini will be responsible for the planning, implementation, direction, evaluation and administration of multiple policy and planning projects for our programs, including those federally mandated, that provide economic support to the low-income residents of the state.

"For 15 years, I have worked with vulnerable Rhode Islanders to access benefits that they need and create systems that help them," said Cimini, who received both her Bachelor's degree in political science and Master's degree in social work, policy and organizing from Rhode Island College. "I am excited to join the department, and look forward to using all of those experiences to move DHS forward."

Working closely with all of you, local community and advocacy groups, other state agencies and public/private organizations will be invaluable input in her new responsibilities and DHS' overall success with the more than 318,000 residents we serve annually.

Cimini can be reached at Her main office will be in our regional family center in Warwick, but she will often be at the Louis Pasteur Building in Cranston, other family centers and out in the community.

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