Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services has found its next leader.
Today the Human Services Commission voted to offer the post of Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to Edward Lake.
Lake is from Tennessee and has a wealth of experience and background for this post.
Before he retired from the Tennessee DHS in 2011, he spent nearly 40 years working at all levels of the system. He has experience in child welfare, food stamp office supervision, county/regional direction and served as deputy commissioner of that agency between 1992-96. He then was assistant commissioner between 1996-2003 before re-taking the deputy post in 2003 and holding it until his retirement eight years later.
Lake has extensive experience with organizational change and oversaw comprehensive restructuring of the agency. He worked to improve client services and build external support of the department’s efforts by working closely with advisory groups of advocates, legal aid staff, and other key external stakeholder groups.
During Lake’s tenure at TDHS, he was among key contributors to the development of the agency’s child welfare caseworker training academy and received a community service agency award for improving the department’s and the community’s child abuse services following a nationally publicized child abuse death. He also provided leadership for the design and implementation of sweeping child care licensing reforms in state statute and policy, including a statewide rated child care licensing system.
OPEA welcomes Lake to Oklahoma and looks forward to working with him on important matters related to our hard-working members at DHS.