HARTFORD, CT – The Lamont administration announced in a news release today that the governor has nominated West Hartford resident Shannon Jacovino to serve as ombudsman for the state Department of Developmental Services.

Jacovino is to succeed Edward Mambruno, who recently retired.

As ombudsman, the release says Jacovino “will work with individuals, families, state agencies, municipalities, state lawmakers, and other stakeholders to help resolve their challenges with the department using a person-centered approach. She will also help individuals and families find information to solve specific issues and problems they may be having and help them navigate the Department of Developmental Services system.”

Jacovino, who is currently an organizer for the Connecticut Congress of Community College, is familiar with the disability community through her previous work a The Arc Connecticut. According to the release, she was director of advocacy and public policy there, working with families, state agencies, and lawmakers to promote policy and legislation to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“For much of the past decade, I have had the privilege of working for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families,” Jacovino said in the release. “Through that work, I have learned a great deal about the diversity of their needs, their challenges, and their resilience. I am honored to have been asked by Governor Lamont to serve as the ombudsperson for a community that I so deeply value and respect.”

Jacovino has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut. She will begin serving in the role on an interim basis effective today. Her nomination for permanent confirmation will be forwarded to the General Assembly for its consideration when the next regular session begins in February.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Jacovino has proven herself worthy of the job.

“The position of ombudsman is incredibly important because this person serves as an independent facilitator to ensure that individuals and their families receive the support they need to live, learn, work, and enjoy community life,” Lamont said in the release. “She has proven herself to be an incredibly passionate advocate, and this role will be a great fit for her. I thank her for agreeing to take on this opportunity.”