May 14, 2012; Source: Westfair Online

When Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy appointed former State Rep. Deb Heinrich to a cabinet-level position as the state’s nonprofit liaison, no other such position existed in the U.S., according to Heinrich. The goal of the new position was to improve the relationship between the state and its nonprofit partners, as NPQ has previously reported. After a stint, which included the creation of an office that developed efficiencies to ensure more on-time payments from the state to nonprofit contractors, Heinrich stepped down earlier this year, and now Malloy has appointed her replacement: Alyssa Goduti.

At present, Goduti is vice president for business development and communications at Community Health Resources in the Hartford, Conn. region, a community behavioral health agency working on mental health and substance abuse issues. Previously, Goduti served as vice president of public policy with Connecticut Community Providers Association, a trade association for service providers working with people with disabilities and other significant challenges.

In a release, Gov. Malloy said, “Connecticut’s nonprofits play an important role in improving our state’s quality of life, particularly in low-income communities…The Nonprofit Liaison helps to make sure that state government is a real partner to nonprofits who are serving thousands of residents each day.” Goduti noted that she is “enthusiastic to be joining an administration that places its relationship with nonprofit community providers as such a high priority.”

NPQ would love to hear from nonprofits in Connecticut and in other states that have liaison offices either just for nonprofits or for nonprofits and philanthropy. What are the most important roles you have seen such offices play? And if they fall short – what might they do better? –Mike Keefe-Feldman