Deputy Director

Jenell Lawson

Jenell Marie Lawson is the Deputy Director and Vice President of Human Resources at Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc. (CAANH). Joining CAANH in 2009 as the Director of Human Resources, she has been promoted twice; in 2014 to the Vice President of Human Resources and, in 2019, to her current role.

As the Deputy Director & Vice President of Human Resources, she assists the President & CEO with the development and execution of the human resources department and operational oversight of the organization. In partnership with the President/CEO and the leadership team, she establishes strategies and methodologies that align with the mission of the organization. In addition, she has oversight of the Planning and Development Department and a few Programs.

Jenell is also responsible for responding to and identifying emerging trends in the workplace and ensuring that technical training and development needs remain consistent with the demands of the workplace.

Before joining CAANH, Jenell worked at CuraGen for ten years, where she was the Manager of IP Operations in the Intellectual Property Department. Jenell managed and provided guidance for team building, leading, and advising the IP group through complex restructuring of operations, cost reduction, database management, patent and trademark prosecution, monitoring, price negotiation, budgeting, and process improvement. Furthermore, Jenell was a Freelance Paralegal for bankruptcy, and real estate where she negotiated prices, executed contracts for purchases and leases, client, and landlord mediation, and completed due diligence for pre-claim investigation.

In her spare time, Jenell is a Realtor, a Notary Public, and Adjunct Professor and recently became a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP). She holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice/Public Administration, and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), both from the University of New Haven. In addition to a Paralegal and Human Resources Certification at the graduate level.