Flinn-Brown Fellow Robert Navarro helps oversee operations of state’s child safety department

September 24, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

Kathryn Leonard

Robert Navarro (Chandler, 2017) 
Deputy Director of Operations for Support Services, Arizona Department of Child Safety 

1. Can you please describe your work and how public policy impacts how you manage your organization?

Currently, I serve as Deputy Director of Operations for Support Services for the Arizona Department of Child Safety. My current role includes oversight of the department’s budget, business operations, comprehensive health plan and information technology for the department. I look at my daily work as doing my part to ensure our front-line staff and vendors have the tools needed to serve Arizona families effectively and efficiently in an extremely complicated system. Public policy plays a significant role in our daily operations; this can range from working with stakeholders or community advocates to working with both state and federal policy makers to ensure compliance and execution of the policies that lawmakers have set forth. 

2. How has the Fellows Network been useful to you?

The Fellows Network has been most useful in helping me to network with other Fellows within state government as well as with those Fellows that have been elected to office. Having this network creates a common connection that allows me to reach out to address and collaborate on issues that impact our daily work in the department. The Fellows Network has also been beneficial to me in helping me explore and learn about other policy areas that are impacting the state at all levels of government.

3. What do you see as potential opportunities strengthening civic health in Arizona?

The various levels of government, and how they operate independently and together, are inherently complex and often lead people to become frustrated and disenfranchised with the process. When people stop and take time to learn about the programs and services that are being offered, they often discover that their concerns are being addressed in the community in a variety of diverse ways. Opportunities for the public to engage in learning about programs and services and government itself will help drive a more constructive conversation regarding civics in Arizona.