Nikki Farago, Children and Family Services assistant commissioner, has dedicated her career to serving children and families. In her role as assistant commissioner, Farago offers oversight and direction to Children and Family Services administration, oversees child welfare and public assistance policy, and coordinates projects across Children and Family Services. She also supervises child well-being initiatives for counties, tribes and partner agencies, leads operational activities, and represents Children and Family Services for the department at large.
Before becoming assistant commissioner, Farago served as Children and Family Services deputy assistant commissioner and as legislation and external affairs director. Her work focused on new legislation for Minnesotans with low incomes, and children and families at risk of poor outcomes. Previous, as deputy solicitor general for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, she litigated criminal and civil cases in tribal court, represented Mille Lacs Band in Indian Child Welfare Act child protection cases in state court and served as general counsel. In the past, Farago has worked for Mid-Minnesota Legal Services and Hennepin County District Court.
Farago earned a bachelor of science in psychology and bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Georgia, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School. She has served as administrative director of the William E. McGee Civil Rights Moot Court, as president of the American Indian Law Student Association and as a representative to the Hennepin County Bar Association for the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association. Farago sits on the Board of Directors of the Indian Child Welfare Act Law Center.