Lisa B. Nelson, J.D.
Assistant Attorney General
For many years a passionate, articulate, and tireless advocate on behalf of children who have been abused or neglected, Lisa Nelson's advocacy has extended from the courtroom, where she has represented Alaska's child protection agency in presenting cases on behalf of children, to the halls of Alaska's legislature. She has facilitated shaping improvements into Alaska's laws and advocated effectively for the resources needed to protect children and heal families. Ms. Nelson, who has held a position with the Department of Law for 19 years, has devoted 13 of those years to litigating child protection cases personally and supervising others. In addition, she offers the advantage of her expertise in a legal class she teaches for new child protection social workers and has served as members of the Governor's Child Protection Review Team in 1997 and the Governor's Commission on Child Protection in 2002. Instrumental in passing new legislation and implementing new laws that move faster to protect children and provide families with assistance to resolve problems that put children at risk, Ms. Nelson stays focused on the need for the child protection system to act with constant consideration of the needs of children and their sense of time. Further, Ms. Nelson has assumed a leadership role in an interdisciplinary effort to improve the policies, procedures, and practices of the child welfare and justice systems in order to move children who have languished in foster care into permanent homes and to make the child protection and justice systems more responsive and more effective in protecting the interests of children and assisting families. Ms. Nelson acts as a key advocate in public forums to inform the broader citizenry about child abuse and neglect, the laws governing our systems of child protection, the need for resources, and the responsibilities of all citizens. She articulately and effectively uses her daily experience over many years to illustrate key points, to explain the processes, and to humanize the statistics that otherwise might fail to gain proper attention.