Henry appoints first deputy commissioner
Payne will assist Henry in the oversight of program operations that include two developmental centers, a statewide community-based service delivery system supported by 2,500 employees, 475 community providers and three regional offices.
“Our state is fortunate to have Debbie fill this crucial role in state government,” Henry said. “She has more than 30 years of policy and leadership experience in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and she served as acting Commissioner prior to my arrival. She is very familiar with the department’s services in
Payne most recently served as Assistant Commissioner of Community and Facility Services in the Division of Intellectual Disabilities Services prior to the Tennessee Legislature establishing the agency as a stand-alone department effective January 15, 2011. She remained in that role upon the division becoming a department.
During her career, Mrs. Payne has served in many capacities ranging from direct support professional, behavior therapist, Director of Habilitative Services at
“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Payne said. “I look forward to continuing the progress the administration has made in organizing the department.”
Debra Payne holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Criminal Justice from