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Haslam Announces Dr. Raquel Hatter To Return to Private Sector

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 | 11:15am

Department of Human Services Commissioner Has Served in the Cabinet Since 2011

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Raquel Hatter will return to the private sector in February to work at the national level on poverty, social mobility and social justice with children, families and communities across the country.

Under her team-oriented leadership, DHS adopted the Two Gen strategy focused on addressing poverty and creating cycles of success, and the department received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service for administration of the SNAP program. She also established the Fatherhood Initiative Office to ensure an intentional focus on whole family services when partnering with families and collaborated with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to develop an adult protective services investigation academy.

“When Raquel informed me she was leaving, my immediate thought was how much I would miss her passion and dedication to serving families and children,” Haslam said. “She brought fresh perspective and subject matter expertise to her role, taking a generational approach to solving some of the unique challenges facing Tennessee’s most vulnerable, and the State of Tennessee was extremely fortunate to have her lead the Department of Human Services over the last six years.”

Hatter and her team have consistently increased Vocational Rehabilitation employment outcomes since 2011. During her tenure DHS has partnered with Tennessee parents served by Families First, SNAP and Child Support to enroll more than 5,000 students in the Tennessee Promise. DHS also rolled out the Smart Steps Child Care Assistance Program to support the whole family by offering financial child care assistance to parents who are working or pursuing post-secondary educational goals while promoting learning and development for their children.

“I'm honored to have served under Gov. Haslam’s leadership, and I’m grateful for him entrusting me with the amazing mission of the Department of Human Services,” Hatter said. “It's been a humbling and rewarding journey to serve in partnership with the dedicated staff across the state, community partners and other stakeholders in support of the more than 2 million Tennesseans we serve. I am confident that the department will continue its transformational journey and do its part to build stronger families, stronger communities, and a stronger Tennessee.”

Hatter also serves as president of the American Public Human Service Association and is an alumna of the Ascend at the Aspen Institute. She will serve with the state until the first week of February.