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Nikki Farago

Deputy Commissioner for Agency Culture and Relations

Nikki Farago is deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she oversees the Office of Employee Culture, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Communications, Legislative Affairs and External Relations.

Farago comes to the position from her role as assistant commissioner of Children and Family Services. She has served since 2013 at DHS in various roles, including director for legislative and external affairs, and deputy assistant commissioner, both for CFS. Previously, 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 holds a certificate in Human Services Leadership from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She has served as a representative to the Hennepin County Bar Association for the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association and as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Committee for Equality and Justice. Farago sits on the Board of Directors of the Indian Child Welfare Act Law Center.

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