Charlene Briner serves as deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she oversees Communications, Legislative Affairs and External Relations.
Briner has worked for more than fifteen years in state government in both the administrative and legislative branches, as well as interim roles in city government and the non-profit sector. Prior to joining DHS, she spent eight years at the Minnesota Department of Education, where she served as the agency's deputy commissioner and chief of staff. She’s led several organizations in transition, most recently serving as interim chief of staff for Boston Public Schools and interim executive director of Great River Greening.
A 2014 Leaders in Public Policy winner, Briner played a leading role in developing and implementing policy to advance public education in Minnesota, including a nation-leading school safety and anti-bullying law, policies to strengthen American Indian education programs and funding to expand Pre-K and early childhood education programs.
Briner serves as vice-chair of the Minnesota Zoo Board of Trustees, on the Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota's Institute for Translational Research, and was a member of the Super Bowl Legacy Fund. The mother of three adult sons, she also writes and speaks extensively on parenting, social justice and education issues.