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Safe Horizon Appoints Liz Roberts as New CEO 

February 16, 2021

Contact: Laura Vialva, 917-715-3023, laura.vialva@safehorizon.org

Roberts brings a decade of experience at Safe Horizon and a 30-year career in victim services

NEW YORK – Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim services agency, announced Liz Roberts as its fourth Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Roberts most recently served as Safe Horizon’s interim CEO following the departure of long-time CEO, Ariel Zwang. Roberts will be the agency’s fourth CEO.

Roberts has been with Safe Horizon for a decade. She initially joined Safe Horizon as its Chief Program Officer, then assumed the role of Deputy CEO. Before joining Safe Horizon, Roberts served as Deputy Commissioner for Family Support Services at the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. Her 34-year career in victim services began as a domestic violence hotline worker.

“Safe Horizon provides life-saving support to New Yorkers every single day, and it deserves a leader worthy of that mission. Liz will be that leader,” said Board Chair Mike Slocum. “Her experience, leadership abilities, expertise, and compassion ensure that Safe Horizon will continue to serve victims in need with excellence.”

“I have dedicated my entire adult life to helping victims of violence find support and healing. There isn’t an organization in the world that does that better than Safe Horizon. I am honored to have the responsibility of leading this incredible organization,” said Roberts.

Elected and Appointed Officials Congratulate Liz Roberts

New York City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal said, “I commend the Board of Directors at Safe Horizon for selecting Liz Roberts to be the new CEO. She brings many decades of experience advocating for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and other crimes, and is deeply committed to building safer communities, fighting for social justice and advancing racial equity. I have relied on Safe Horizon over the years to respond to constituent needs, provide expert testimony before the City Council and help shape critical legislation, and I look forward to continuing this partnership with Liz at the organization’s helm.”

New York State Office of Victim Services Director, Elizabeth Cronin, said, “The Office of Victim Services proudly supports the work of Safe Horizon, one of more than 200 community-based programs funded by OVS that provide critical services to victims of crime and their families in New York City and across the state. The agency will be well served with Liz Roberts at the helm. We look forward to continuing our partnership and building on our work to ensure that victims and survivors have access to help and support whenever they need it.”

Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte said, “When I cast my vote for the Child Victims Act in January 2019, a bill that expanded access to the courts for survivors of child abuse, I took the opportunity to share with my colleagues in the legislature that I, too, was a survivor and that this legislation was deeply personal. With the help of the team at Safe Horizon, I helped spread the word to New Yorkers across the state that survivors now had greater access to justice. This morning’s announcement that Safe Horizon’s Board of Directors selected a lifelong advocate in Liz Roberts to be their new CEO assures me that this organization will continue to be a relentless fighter for justice and for safer communities. I congratulate Liz and look forward to continuing our important work together.”

Senator Brad Hoylman said, “I have had the honor and privilege of partnering with Safe Horizon over the years to pass landmark legislation including the Child Victims Act with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal which reformed New York’s antiquated statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual

abuse. Today’s announcement that their Board of Directors has selected Liz Roberts to be the organization’s new CEO is great news for the victim advocacy movement. Liz brings decades of experience fighting on behalf of victims of child abuse, domestic violence and other crimes. I look forward to working with Liz and her team to build safe communities throughout New York.”

Susan Herman, Director of the Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC, said, “Liz Roberts is a thoughtful, nationally regarded leader who sets high standards for quality victim services. She is the perfect choice to usher in the next chapter of Safe Horizon’s great work on behalf of victims of crime in New York City. I have no doubt she will be as bold and creative as these challenging times require.”

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Social Services, said, “Congratulations to Liz Roberts on being named Safe Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer. Safe Horizon’s dynamic advocacy is needed now more than ever. Liz has a deep well of knowledge and experience that will ensure Safe Horizon continues its long tradition of dogged advocacy on behalf of victims and survivors. I worked closely with Safe Horizon for years as it helped lead the charge to pass the Child Victims Act in New York, and I look forward to our continued partnership, with Liz now capably at the helm.”

New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin said, “now more than ever before, we need strong and capable leadership in our social services providers – especially in those dealing with trauma. It is critical that we build and restore trust with the communities we all work to serve. I applaud the decision of the Board of Directors of Safe Horizon for selecting Liz Roberts to be the new Chief Executive Officer. Her decades of experience advocating for families, for victims of child abuse and supporting policy makes her a champion in her work and in this collective all-hands-on-deck effort. I welcome this move and congratulate Ms. Roberts on her new position.”

Cecile Noel, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, said, “Liz’s extraordinary expertise and deep commitment to survivors inspire those of us in this field daily. As the City recovers from the pandemic, Safe Horizon will play a critical role in addressing the health, safety and wellbeing of vulnerable families and individuals. I can think of no one better than Liz to safeguard Safe Horizon’s mission.”

Assembly Member Catalina Cruz said, “During my tenure in the State Assembly, we have passed many important bills that have a deep impact on New Yorkers in my district and across the state. One of those bills – the Child Victims Act, which increased avenues to justice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse – was important not just to my constituents but to me personally. I am a survivor, and with the help of Safe Horizon I have told my story and encouraged others to do the same. Today’s announcement that the Board of Directors has selected Liz Roberts to be their new CEO fills me with joy, as I know that she has spent her entire professional career advocating on behalf of victims of violence and abuse. I congratulate Liz and look forward to continuing to partner with Safe Horizon to help create safer communities for all New Yorkers.”

New York City Councilmember Vanessa L. Gibson, Co-Chair of the NYC Council Women`s Caucus, said, “Congratulations to Liz Roberts on her appointment as the new Safe Horizon CEO. She had the arduous task of leading Safe Horizon as interim CEO during a tremulous time in our city’s history as we continued to combat a global health crisis. The need for support was great prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is even more imperative that we have resources in place for survivors and other vulnerable populations. I look forward to our continued work together in her new position providing support for New Yorkers.”

New York City Councilmember Farah N. Louis, Co-Chair of the New York City Council Women`s Caucus, said, “For over a decade, Liz Roberts has been an advocate for survivors of abuse and gender-based violence. Her years of experience, dedication, and proven leadership before and during the COVID-19 pandemic are vital to the continuity of services from Safe Horizon for thousands of families across our city. This organization has been an invaluable resource for my constituents in District 45 as well as the

New York City Council Women’s Caucus. Congratulations and thank you for your continued partnership as the new CEO.”

Safe Horizon helps 250,000 New Yorkers a year who are victims of crime or abuse find safety, support, hope, and connection.

About Safe Horizon

Established in 1978, Safe Horizon is the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States. It touches the lives of more than 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. Safe Horizon envisions a society free of family and community violence, leading the way by empowering victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence. Safe Horizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities. For more information, please visit safehorizon.org.

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