Today, First Lady Marty Kemp announced that Governor Brian P. Kemp issued an Executive Order expanding the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education (GRACE) Commission from 22 to 23 members.
Since its inception in 2019, the commission, comprised of public officials, law-enforcement, for-profit and non-profit organizations, healthcare officials, and subject matter experts, has been dedicated to educating the public and advocating for innovative methods to end human trafficking in Georgia.
“For almost three years, the GRACE Commission has been at the forefront of the fight to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking and create lasting change,” said First Lady Kemp. “I am excited to continue that work with this group of accomplished experts who each possess the means and will to make Georgia a safe haven for survivors and a hostile environment for traffickers and buyers.”
The new seat on the GRACE Commission will be filled by Dr. Virginia Jordan Greenbaum, a physician who specializes in child abuse and, until her recent retirement, worked with victims of suspected physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and sex trafficking at the Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
The First Lady also announced the following membership changes for the commission:
Amy Boney, CEO of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia (CACGA), will join the commission. Amy Boney provides oversight and direction to the planning, development, and management of the daily operation of the state chapter and oversees all CACGA services and activities. Amy graduated from the University of Georgia and Valdosta State University, where she completed her Bachelor and Masters of Social Work, respectively. She has over 20 years’ experience working within Children’s Advocacy Centers in Georgia and is the previous Director of the CSEC Response Team of CACGA.
Susan Norris, Founder and Executive Director of Rescuing Hope, will join the commission. Susan Norris has been involved in the fight against sex trafficking in America since 2010. Norris partners with other frontline organizations, therapists, and law enforcement officers she met through the writing of her novel, Rescuing Hope, as well as through mentoring survivors. She has a passion for raising awareness about the issue of sex trafficking as well as encouraging and empowering survivors to live an abundant life.
Dr. Mike Looney, Superintendent of Fulton County School District, will join the commission. Dr. Looney joined Fulton County Schools in 2019 and has helped guide the district through the COVID-19 pandemic while emphasizing early childhood reading skills, real-life career experience, STEM innovations, and reducing dropouts. He previously served as Superintendent of Williamson County Schools in Tennessee and the Butler County School District in Alabama. A public educator since 1994, he has also served in the roles of classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Looney received his Educational Specialist degree and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama and his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and master’s degree in Education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Commissioner Candice Broce, Director of the Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services, will join the commission. Commissioner Broce supports the efforts and services of more than 7,000 DFCS employees dedicated to the safety, self-sufficiency, and well-being of Georgia’s most vulnerable families and children. Broce holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and law degree from Georgia State University. Broce previously served as chief operating officer, communications director, and chief deputy executive counsel in the Governor’s Office.
Kurt R. Erskine, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, will join the commission. As the chief federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Attorney Erskine oversees the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought in the District on behalf of the United States. During his nearly 20-year career as a federal prosecutor, Erskine has held several leadership positions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including serving as the Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section, the Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Section, and the Chief of the Public Integrity Section. Erskine received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas, and holds a Master of Health Administration from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the College of William & Mary.
The First Lady looks forward to welcoming these new members and is confident that they will bring invaluable knowledge and experience to the Commission.
The Office of the Governor thanks the following individuals for their service on the GRACE Commission which has now concluded:
- Aleks Jagiella-Litts
- Camila Zolfaghari
- Meria Carstarphen
- Tom Rawlings
- B.J. Pak