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Debra Pontisso began her 33-year career with the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 1979 and, at the time of her retirement in November, 2012, she had been working in the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) managing the [Child] Access and Visitation Grant – a $10 million per year program authorized by Congress based on the goal of increasing noncustodial parents’ access to and visitation with their children.
During her tenure with HHS, she held various positions in the Administration on Aging, Office of Community Services (anti-poverty and community development programs), and Office of Refugee Resettlement. She also served as Associate Director of the U.S. Commission on Child and Family Well-being (1994-1996) which involved holding public hearings throughout the country and preparing a Report to Congress and the President which contained recommendations for removing the obstacles to and increasing the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. Ms. Pontisso currently serves as Chair of the National Responsible Fatherhood Roundtable and Visiting Scholar with The Strong Families Commission, Inc., of Pennsylvania.