Cynthia Dames joined Malkin & Ross in January, 2013 as a Senior Consultant, merging her State book of business from Cynthia Dames Consulting, LLC. Cynthia has over 18 years’ experience in maintaining a State and City government affairs practice directed at non-profit advocacy. The areas of advocacy have focused on health, behavioral health, social services, legal services and civil rights. Cynthia has secured and maintained millions of dollars of State funding for clients; and has been influential in major public policy legislation including the reinvestment of community based mental health services and marriage equality. Before establishing her own firm, Cynthia worked in City government under the Koch administration developing the first citywide mental health strategic plan for children at the City Department of Mental Health; and led system reform regarding deinstitutionalization in the mental health sector during her tenure as the Executive Director of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies. Prior to moving to NYC, Cynthia started the first battered women’s shelter in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the first President of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and worked for four years in the Office of the Governor in the State of Illinois. Cynthia has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago.