TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – David L. Bach of Burnt Hills, who has served as Associate Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYS OCFS), Division of Child Welfare and Community Services since 2019, has been named the new CEO of Unity House. Last spring, longtime CEO Chris Burke announced that he would retire in mid-2022 after leading the organization for over 30 years.

“We are very fortunate to have a professional of such caliber and experience as David Bach leading Unity House into the next half century,” said Kate Koval, board chair. “His credentials are impeccable and his heart aligns with Unity House’s mission to enhance the life of others by providing direct services and working toward social justice.”

While serving as associate commissioner of NYS OCFS, Bach oversaw a portfolio that included statewide regional operations, children Medicaid management, Justice Center coordination, program quality and improvement, program licensing and certification, and the child fatality review team. He also managed the statewide workforce responsible for the oversight and coordination of operations related to all children and family services delivered by local districts and voluntary agencies.

Previously, Bach was the Director of Quality Assurance and Improvement for the NYS OCFS, Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth. “I am truly humbled to become part of the Unity House family,” said Bach. “As the CEO, I will be a steward of the tradition of service started by Mary Jane Smith over 50 years ago and carried on through today by the board of directors, many wonderful staff, and Chris Burke.”

Bach will be only the third CEO in Unity House’s 50-year history. Burke has led the organization since 1991, when he took over after Mary Jane Smith, a founder of Unity House and its first CEO, retired.

In recognition of Burke, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden issued a proclamation Wednesday declaring Thursday, June 30 as “Chris Burke Day” in the city. In the proclamation, Mayor Madden says officials wish to “extend [their] appreciation for his three-plus decades of distinguished service, contributions, and achievements as CEO of Unity House and extend [their] best wishes on the occasion of his retirement.”