Following an extensive community outreach effort, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Secretary Kevin W. Quigley has made permanent his appointment of Jennifer Strus as assistant secretary for the Children’s Administration and appointed Evelyn Perez to serve as assistant secretary for the Developmental Disabilities Administration.
Strus has led the state’s child welfare administration since Quigley named her acting assistant secretary in February.
“In the past three months, Jennifer has confirmed my confidence in her ability to excel in this challenging job,” Quigley said in making the announcement, “and she has earned the respect and support of her colleagues, members of her management staff and the front-line team.”
Strus came to her current role at DSHS after more than 14 years on staff with the Washington State Senate, but she is no stranger to DSHS. She previously served as Assistant Attorney General, providing legal representation to Children’s Administration. And In the late ‘90s, was Director of the Division of Program and Policy Development in the Children’s Administration.
Perez has served as Regional Administrator for the Department’s Developmental Disabilities Administration’s Region 1 in Spokane for more than five years. She has worked in the field of developmental disabilities since 1984 and for the Division of Developmental Disabilities since 1986.
“Evelyn comes to her new role with expertise that is broad and deep,” Quigley said. “She has served as field services administrator, developmental disabilities administrator, social worker, case resource manager and adult training counselor. Evelyn’s career is a roadmap of her passion and her commitment to people with developmental disabilities.”
Perez replaces Kathy Leitch, who has served as interim assistant secretary for Developmental Disabilities Administration since February.
“I am indebted to Kathy, a nationally recognized administrator who has served DSHS long and well, for stepping into this role and I wish her all the best,” Quigley said.