Gov. Kenneth Mapp nominated acting Human Services Commissioner Felecia Blyden this week to formally fill that post. Blyden has been holding the commissioner’s position for the last two weeks, since Mapp replaced former acting Human Services Commissioner Anita Roberts, who faced intense criticism for abruptly moving some residents of St. Thomas’s Sea View Nursing Home without coordinating with families and other agencies.
Mapp announced Blyden’s selection Monday evening during his state of the territory address.
The governor said Blyden has worked her way through the ranks in the Department of Human Services and has the respect of her colleagues and clients alike, having affected the lives of generations of Virgin Islanders. He asked the Senate for prompt confirmation, saying it will enhance Human Services’ ability to meet its demanding mandates and continued service to the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Blyden has always been and will continue to be an asset to the entire Virgin Island’s community,” Mapp said.
Blyden has been with Human Services for 26 years, most recently as administrator for Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services. She holds a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of the Virgin Islands. In 2006, Blyden was named Human Services’ employee of the year.