Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Jodi Harpstead, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, as the incoming Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS). Previously in senior leadership at Medtronic, Jodi Harpstead brings a depth of non-profit and private sector experience in service delivery and business administration. She is the first DHS Commissioner to have a Master of Business Administration since the Department’s restructuring from the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare in 1984.

“It is my honor to appoint a Commissioner of Human Services with broad private and non-profit experience, and a proven record of strong, compassionate leadership,” said Governor Walz. “As CEO of Lutheran Social Service, Jodi Harpstead has led an organization that touches lives in every corner of our state, and I look forward to her bringing that vision and expertise to DHS. I’d also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Interim Commissioner Pam Wheelock for answering my call, diving in headfirst, and leading the agency through this quick transition with grace.”

“In her work with Lutheran Social Service, Jodi has proven that she recognizes the importance of delivering services efficiently, while also acknowledging the deeply human component of this work,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “I look forward to working with Jodi to ensure that the essential services DHS provides are worthy of our children and families across Minnesota.”

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. I know the people of the DHS to be the same dedicated, caring, and competent people I have worked with at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota,” said Commissioner Harpstead. “I am happy to report that LSS is stable and healthy, leaving me free to bring my 39 years of managing people in large organizations to the Department. I am eager to see how my private sector skills can be useful in working with the dedicated people of the Department of Human Services to support people living full lives in communities across Minnesota.”

This appointment is effective September 3, 2019.

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