Kathryn O'Day Takes the Helm at DCS

Friday, January 28, 2011 | 4:57am
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Kathryn “Kate” O’Day as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

O’Day has dedicated her entire professional life to children. She began her career as a youth counselor with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Before becoming President and CEO of Child & Family Tennessee, she was Vice President of Program Development and Evaluation for Children’s Home Society of Florida and Director of Program Services for Covenant House of Florida.

“After the accreditation of the Department of Children’s Services earlier this year, Kate is the person to build on the department’s recent successes,” Haslam said. “We as a state have an important responsibility to these children, and I’m grateful that Kate, who has staked her career on making children’s lives better, would join our team and serve.”

At Child & Family Tennessee, O’Day created a business-like management team and organizational model to ensure fiscal and programmatic accountability, which has helped the organization meet goals.

“I’m honored to be selected and to serve with Gov.-elect Haslam, and I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated staff at Children’s Services,” O’Day said. “The state budget presents some important challenges, and I’m excited to work with our community partners to meet those challenges.Together, we can achieve our mission for the safety and well-being of Tennessee’s children and their families.”

O’Day is a graduate of Leadership Knoxville, a co-chair of the Community Coalition for Domestic Violence in Knoxville, founding Chair of the Juvenile Court Assistance Board in Knox County, a former panel chair for the Foster Care Review Board in Knox County and a member of the Executive Women’s Association.

She has a Master of Social Work degree from Florida International University. O’Day is married to Steve Cuneo and has three grown children.

Children's Services