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Council for Children’s Rights names former CMS board member as leader

Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board member Robert “Bob” Simmons will become the next executive director of Charlotte’s Council for Children’s Rights.

He will begin his new role April 1, overseeing one of the largest and most comprehensive advocacy and legal service programs for children in the Southeast. It serves approximately 2,500 at-risk children each year, agency officials said.

Simmons, a partner in the law firm of McGuireWoods and a long-time leader in local nonprofit and philanthropic circles, was appointed to the CMS board by unanimous vote in 2001 to replace Jim Puckett as the District 1 representative. He did not seek re-election.

“Over the years, Bob has demonstrated a deep commitment to the cause of children’s rights, generously sharing his knowledge and talents to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable children,” CFCR Board Chair Ed O’Keefe said in a statement.

“His leadership has been instrumental in helping this agency to move forward in its mission to stand up for every child’s right to be safe, healthy and educated.”

Simmons brings nearly three decades of nonprofit experience to this new role. A commercial real estate lawyer by profession, he began his pro bono work in Charlotte as a volunteer with the Children’s Law Center in 1987, joining its board in 1994.

In 2002, he joined the board of the Council for Children and was president when the two organizations merged in 2006 to form what is today the Council for Children’s Rights. He served as that organization’s first president.

“I am dedicated to improving the lives of children in our community, and the council plays a key role in standing up to protect our most vulnerable children and in speaking up to improve the systems that serve all children,” Simmons said in a statement.

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