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Governor Dayton names Lucinda Jesson to lead the Department of Human Services

January 11, 2011
Dayton picks health law expert to lead critical agency
St. Paul, MN — Governor Mark Dayton today announced the appointment of Lucinda Jesson, currently Founding Director of the Health Law Institute at Hamline University, as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  Ms. Jesson brings deep knowledge of the health and human services industry and has a breadth of legal and management experience both in the public and private sectors.  She previously served as Deputy Attorney General, as Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney, and has practiced law in the areas of healthcare, human services and employment.  Ms. Jesson most recently served as part of Governor Dayton's Transition team, leading its Outreach and Appointments efforts. 
"Lucinda Jesson is the right person to lead this critical agency forward," said Governor Dayton.  "Addressing the significant challenges before us requires her expertise in health policy and law, her experience managing large organizations, and her ability to bring creativity and innovation to an agency that is on the front lines, working directly with thousands of Minnesotans. Already, I've charged her with speeding the delivery of services, including the implementation of the Medicaid expansion, so that we can provide improved and more cost-effective care to those in need." 
"This a tremendous honor and opportunity, and I am committed to helping Governor Dayton tackle the challenge of maintaining core human services in difficult fiscal times," said Jesson. "Minnesota's human services are an essential part of what makes our state strong, and I will do everything I can to make sure we continue to deliver on our promise to those who are most vulnerable among us." 
Lucinda Jesson is currently a professor at Hamline University School of Law, where she also serves as Director of Hamline's nationally recognized Health Law Institute. Ms. Jesson has proven public sector management experience, policy expertise in regulation and government programs, and connections with the human services and business communities. She has served government at both the local and state levels, including as Attorney General for Health and Licensing in the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, and as Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney, where she led day-to-day operations of the office.  Ms. Jesson was previously a Partner and of Counsel to Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly, as well as the founder of her own law firm in St. Paul.  In her current tenured position at Hamline, Ms. Jesson's scholarship and teaching focus on health care finance and regulation, as well as health reform. She currently serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Bar Association's Health Law Governing Council.