New secretary of Illinois Dept of Human Services nominated

Governor Bruce Rauner announced on Friday he has nominated James Dimas as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected James Dimas to become the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Dimas is an experienced leader in transforming human services departments at the state and local level, including Illinois. He was a primary architect in the consolidation of the current agency.

Dimas worked in a number of roles at IDHS including the Acting Director of Community Operations. He also led strategic planning and performance management, as well as, the welfare-to-work system. As the Acting Director of Community Operations he led one of the nation’s most successful welfare-to-work initiatives by increasing the monthly job retention rate among TANF clients to 96 percent. He also decreased the TANF caseload and food stamp error rate. Dimas also led IDHS’ move to performance-based budgeting and oversaw the transformation of using performance knowledge to improve program quality.

Dimas began working for the State of Illinois in 1995 on the Governor’s Task Force on Human Services Reform under Governor Edgar. He led the development and marketing for the consolidation effort into the agency’s current organizational structure. IDHS was consolidated into the state’s largest agency in 1997 from seven previously separate health and social services agencies.

Currently, Dimas is the owner and CEO of Dimas Consulting, Inc. It provides performance management, and human services policy, programming and administration consulting services. He is one of two accountability agents appointed by a federal court to oversee major reforms of Georgia’s child welfare system. He also has designed reform campaigns for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Dimas is a graduate of Knox College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Texas in public affairs. Dimas also attended Harvard University’s Executive Program for government performance.