Monday, October 15, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today applauded the selection of Edward Lake as the new director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). The DHS Commission announced Lake’s selection at a board meeting on Wednesday.
Lake of Hendersonville, Tenn., served as deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services from 1992 through 1996 and then again from 2003 through 2011. He also served as an assistant commissioner at the department from 1996 through 2003. During his career in Tennessee, he served at almost every level of the Tennessee Department of Human Services including as a child welfare caseworker, both a county and regional director and as an administrator.
“I applaud the selection of Edward Lake as the next director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services,” Fallin said. “With experience at nearly every level of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Ed understands the challenges of managing an agency that interacts with the public at many levels. He has proven himself an effective leader who was able to work with the agency and external stakeholder to improve the quality of services delivered to clients.
“The ongoing reforms at the Department of Human Services, including the implementation of the Pinnacle Plan, will help improve the delivery of child welfare services in Oklahoma. I’m confident Ed Lake can provide the leadership at DHS to help us ensure the state is providing adequate protection and care to vulnerable Oklahoma children.”
Lake earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from East Tennessee University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught courses in social work at the University of Tennessee in Nashville and at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.
Governor Fallin met in person on Wednesday with Lake.
“As voters consider a state question that would put the governor in charge of selecting the DHS director, I felt it important to meet in person with Ed Lake,” Fallin said. “I came away from that meeting impressed by his quality and character and feel he’s a great choice to lead DHS.”
The governor said if State Question 765 is approved by voters in November, she has no plans to replace Lake as DHS director.
Governor Fallin thanked Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger, who had served as interim director of DHS since March.
“I appreciate Preston Doerflinger’s willingness to take on the challenge of serving as interim-director at DHS,” Fallin said. “Preston has been instrumental in my administration’s effort to deliver on the promise of more efficient and effective state government. During his time as interim-director at DHS, he provided leadership at the agency to implement reforms and improvements to move the agency forward.”
Doerflinger will resume his duties as director of the Office of State Finance.