DHS Leadership

Lourdes R. Padilla, Secretary, Maryland Department of Human Services

Lourdes R. Padilla

Secretary Padilla leads the Maryland Department of Human Services, a $2.6 billion agency with 6,500 employees serving more than 1 million Marylanders across the state. The Department assists people in economic need, provides preventive services, and protects vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

With more than 30 years of experience in the human services field, Secretary Padilla serves on a number of boards and commissions, such as the National Governor’s Association Human Services Core Advisors Board, Governor’s Workforce Development Board, the Two Generation Family Economic Security Commission, the Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health in Maryland, and the Advisory Board of the Maryland Center for School Safety, among many more.

Secretary Padilla is leading the development of a groundbreaking technology platform, the first of its kind in the nation, that will transform the state’s ability to deliver vital human services to its residents. Maryland’s Total Human-services Information Network, or MD THINK, is a cloud-based data repository that will break down traditional silos and data barriers between state agencies, allowing them to share and manage data in one convenient place. This shared human services platform will enhance customer services, streamline common data, and reduce eligibility application processing time for our customers.

Prior to her role as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Services, she served as the Deputy Secretary for Income Maintenance at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, where she oversaw an operating budget of more than $2 billion and operations for five bureaus under the agency, including Child Support Enforcement, Program Support, and Program Evaluation.

Netsanet Kibret, Acting Deputy Secretary of Programs

Acting Deputy Secretary of Programs Netsanet Kibret

As Acting Deputy Secretary of Programs, Netsanet Kibret oversees DHS’ Child Support, Family Investment, and Social Services Administrations, and serves as the primary point of contact for our 24 local Departments of Social Services. Prior to her current role, Netsanet was the Executive Director of the Family Investment Administration where she coordinated and supervised public assistance programs within the state. Netsanet has also served for over four years as Director of Government Affairs, where she advocated our legislative agenda by participating as a liaison with state legislators and other government officials. She also coordinated constituent concerns from elected officials and facilitated briefings, committee hearings, and the submission of mandated reports. With her diverse background and skillset, Netsanet is a true asset to the DHS family.

Gregory S. James, Deputy Secretary for Operations

Gregory S. James

Gregory James is the Deputy Secretary for Operations at the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). He has previously served in Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.’s office as a special assistant and senior policy advisor, working a range of issues including human services, juvenile justice, disabilities, education, health, public safety, economic development, and government reform. He was later appointed to be chief of staff for DHS.

Before returning to DHS in 2015, Greg was a principal at The Livingston Group, a Washington, D.C.–based government relations firm. Greg is a Maryland native and alumni of the University of Maryland in College Park, with a law degree from the College of William and Mary.