The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity has hired Paul Dragon to take the reins.

He will replace outgoing director Jan Demers, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

Dragon’s resume includes work with the Agency of Human Services in several roles – Deputy Secretary for the Agency, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and currently as the Director for Field Services, a press release from the nonprofit said.

As the Director of the Healthcare for the Homeless Program in Burlington, he led the development of the Safe Harbor Clinic and the Pearl Street Clinic.

“We are thrilled that Paul has accepted our offer to lead CVOEO into the future. He has the skills to help us realize our strategic objectives in the context of our overall mission. We are confident in his commitment to economic, social and racial justice as well as his belief in the value and dignity of the people we serve,” said Nina Harrington, president of the agency’s Board of Directors.

Dragon, who lives in Underhill, said he was attracted to the job because, “It is the organization’s long and storied commitment to social justice and the belief that community action agencies are catalysts for change.

“True strength and creativity comes from within a community of diverse ideas and experiences, and I am excited and honored to be a part of this organization and the communities it represents,” he said.

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