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Charles Johnson serves as the deputy commissioner for policy and operations for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). In addition to providing leadership to the department's policy areas, he oversees the agency’s budget development as well as financial analysis and operations, the Office of Inspector General, including the Licensing Division, the Compliance Office, Information Technology/Enterprise Architecture, communications and public affairs; legislative, community, tribal and county relations; reports and forecasts; and management operations.
DHS is the state’s largest agency, with a $25.2 billion all-funds budget for the FY 2012-13 biennium. The department provides or administers a broad range of services, including health care, economic assistance, child welfare services, and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Prior to his appointment as deputy commissioner for policy and operations in June 2013, Johnson served as chief financial officer since June 2010 and chief operating officer since January 2012.
Johnson also served the department as assistant commissioner for Children and Family Services from December 2004 until June 2012. He was responsible for programs and policies that promote economic stability, child safety and permanency, opportunities for children to develop to their potential, and successful transitions for immigrant families. As a division director in that area from 1997 until 2004, Johnson led the state’s nationally recognized welfare reform efforts. He has been involved in the development of Minnesota’s primary welfare reform effort, the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), since its inception.
Johnson has been with DHS for 24 years, and has spent most of his 29 years in state government working on policies and programs that support low-income families and children. He has bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from Carroll College (now University) in Waukesha, Wis., and a master’s degree in policy analysis and social policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.