Governor Perdue Announces Nominating Committee for Child Advocate

Written by Firm | Jan 5, 2010 | Press | Print PDF

State Of Georgia – Office of the Governor


Tuesday, January 5, 2010
By Sonny Perdue, GOVERNOR

ATLANTA — Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the formation of the Nominating Committee for Georgia’s Child Advocate. Georgia code requires the appointment of a nominating committee to recommend at least three candidates to serve as advocate. The position is open due to the resignation of current advocate Tom Rawlings, who will serve as the director of the International Justice Mission in Guatemala.

State law requires the nominating committee to review applicants for the position and recommend at least three candidates to the Governor for consideration. The committee will consist of Tommy Hills, Mary Eleanor Wickersham and Josh Belinfante. A copy of the Executive Order follows, as well as short biographies of each committee member.

Whereas: O.C.G.A. § 15-11-172(b) provides that the Child Advocate shall serve terms of three years; and

Whereas: The Office of Child Advocate has become vacant; and

Whereas: O.C.G.A. § 15-11-172(a) requires the appointment of a nominating committee to consider nominees for the position of the advocate and that such nominating committee recommend at least three candidates to serve as advocate.

Now, Therefore, By Virtue of the Authority Vested In Me As Governor of the State of Georgia, It Is Hereby

Ordered: That a nominating committee of Tommy Hills, Mary Eleanor Wickersham, and Josh Belinfante be formed to consider nominees for the position of advocate as required by O.C.G.A. § 15-11-172. The nominating committee shall recommend for consideration at least three persons with knowledge of the child welfare system, the juvenile justice system, and the legal system that are qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of advocate as provided for in O.C.G.A. § 15-11-173.

This 5th day of January, 2010.


Tommy Hills – Hills serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the State of Georgia. From 1965-2001, Hills had a long and distinguished career at Wachovia Bank, N.A. In his final position at Wachovia, Hills served as the bank’s Executive Vice President and Atlanta City President. From 2002 to present, Hills served as Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Campaign Director for Coxe, Curry & Associates. His extensive civic and community involvement has included the Atlanta Historical Society, Georgia Council on Economic Education, YWCA of Greater Atlanta, Atlanta Business Community Development Corporation, Leadership Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. His professional memberships include the State Bar of Georgia, American Bankers Association Alumni Council and the Rotary Club of Atlanta. He is a graduate of Emory University’s undergraduate and law schools.

Mary Eleanor Wickersham – Mary Eleanor Wickersham serves as Health and Human Services Policy Advisor to Governor Perdue. She has 25 years of experience in health care, including working in the private sector in home and community services, acute care, and long-term care, as well as health care consulting. She holds a B.A. from Emory University, a Master’s in Public Affairs from Georgia College and State University, and a certificate in Clinical Health Care Ethics from St. Louis University, and will complete her Doctorate in Public Administration with an emphasis in public policy at Valdosta State University in May 2010. A native of Sandersville, she and her husband, David, have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Josh Belinfante – Belinfante joined RobbinsLaw, LLC in 2009. Previously, he served as the Executive Counsel to Governor Perdue, the chief legal advisor to the Governor. Belinfante earlier served as the Legal Counsel to the Georgia House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, where he participated in, among other legislative matters, the revamping of Georgia’s eminent domain laws. He received a law degree from the University of Georgia Law School. Belinfante serves on the board of MCG Health, Inc., is President-Elect of the Pace Academy Alumni Association; and serves on the boards of the Atlanta Chapter of the Federalist Society, the Jewish National Fund, and Republican Leadership of Georgia.