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Lucinda E. Jesson is commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. DHS is the state’s largest agency, serving well over one million people with an annual budget of $11 billion and more than 6,000 employees throughout the state. The department administers a broad range of services, including health care, economic assistance, mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment, child welfare services, and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Prior to joining DHS, Jesson was an associate professor of law at the Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul where she also founded and served as director of the Health Law Institute. Before that, Jesson served in local and state government both as chief deputy Hennepin County attorney, and as Minnesota deputy attorney general. In addition, Jesson has extensive private sector experience, both as a partner in the law firm of Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, and in her own private practice. As commissioner, Jesson’s priorities include making the state a smarter purchaser of health care; redesigning the care delivery systems through integration of primary care, behavioral health, social services and long-term care; keeping people fed and healthy; narrowing disparities; and reducing fraud, waste and abuse.
A PDF version of Commissioner Jesson's biography is online.