The N.C. Victim Assistance Network, a nonprofit that advocates for crime victims, has a new executive director — Thomas V. Bennett.
Bennett is a veteran of several advocacy groups, and most recently led the N.C. Association of County Directors of Social Services, Dan Kane reports.
He has also been the executive director of the N.C. Quality Leadership Foundation, N.C. Child Fatality Task Force and N.C. Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Maryville College and a master's degree in communication from the University of Tennessee.
"I'm honored to be with NCVAN," Bennett said in a statement. "The organization is approaching its twenty-fifth year of advocating for victims’ rights in a time when economic pressures put heavier burdens on crime victims; they will need our help more than ever."
NCVAN has worked to increase the number of victims' legal assistants in prosecutors' offices, provide more financial assistance to crime victims through the state's Victim Compensation Program and push for legislative changes such as amending the state constitution to include the Victims' Rights Declaration.
NCVAN President William P. Hart said Bennett "brings the leadership, fundraising and lobbying skills that will enable NCVAN to provide new levels of service to crime victims."