The Child Advocate and Director of the OCA
Gail Garinger served as a Juvenile Court judge for 13 years before her appointment as The Child Advocate. After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, she specialized in children's health and welfare law at Children's Hospital Boston as well as in private practice. She has extensive legal as well as clinical and research experience in the area of child abuse and neglect and children's welfare. Read More Biographical Information
Deputy Director and Counsel
Elizabeth Armstrong was a registered nurse before becoming an attorney (B.S.N., University of Iowa; J.D. with Honors, University of N.C. at Chapel Hill). She brings her experience as a prosecutor in child maltreatment, domestic violence, and sexual assault cases to this position, including working with child fatality review and child protection teams. Before joining the OCA, she represented children and families in both the Juvenile and Probate and Family Courts in Massachusetts.
Christine Palladino-Downs, MSW, LCSW, worked in the Massachusetts child and adolescent mental health arena before gaining extensive knowledge of the child welfare and juvenile justice system during her eight year tenure at a Children and Family Services agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. While there, she investigated, assessed and managed complex child welfare cases, including child fatalities. She also served on several committees within the child welfare agency, and was active in policy development and implementation. She received her BA-Psychology from Regis College and her Masters of Social Work from San Francisco State University.
Research and Policy Analyst
Jane Lee received a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She served as an AmeriCorps member in California where she worked directly with foster and unaccompanied youth. Jane’s experience includes providing research and analytical support to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Cambodia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and a labor market analytics firm.
Meagen Hildebrand earned a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany, SUNY and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Wyoming. While completing her education, Meagen served as a volunteer rape crisis counselor for victims’ services agencies in both Wyoming and New York. Meagen’s practical experience includes working as a graduate teaching assistant and as a research assistant in dedicated psychology and law research laboratories. She has published findings in national academic journals and presented research findings at national academic conferences.