August 27, 2012; Source: Boston Globe (Associated Press)

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has named a new liaison to the state’s nonprofit sector: Terry Edelstein, who has long been the president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Providers Association (CCPA), a trade association representing health and human services organizations. Edelstein will be the third person to hold the liaison position. The post was first held by former state Rep. Deborah Heinrich, who established an office to standardize the contracting process between the state and nonprofits in order to develop efficiencies and ensure more on-time payments from the state to nonprofit contractors.

Heinrich stepped down and was replaced earlier this year by Alyssa Goduti, who had previously worked as vice president for business development and communications at a Hartford region agency dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues. Like Edelstein, Goduti had also worked at CCPA. In a press conference, Malloy said that Edelstein “has been a constant presence in the halls of the Capitol” and will serve as “quarterback to manage the relationship” between the state and its nonprofit sector. As to why Goduti is leaving so soon after taking the liaison position, Malloy noted that “public service in government’s not for everybody” and that although Goduti’s stint was “short-lived,” “she will continue to be someone we work with.”

NPQ has been particularly interested in this post because, prior to its establishment, there were no official cabinet-level state nonprofit liaisons in the U.S. The Hartford Courant notes that Connecticut nonprofits receive approximately $1.3 billion annually from various state agencies. For the sake of the Constitution State’s nonprofits, the agencies that work with them and the constituents served by them—and for the sake of demonstrating the value of a cabinet-level voice for the nonprofit sector in other states—we wish Edelstein good luck in bolstering the vital relationship between Connecticut’s nonprofits and its government. –Mike Keefe-Feldman