Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne has a long career of public service. Most recently Dardenne, an attorney, served as Louisiana’s lieutenant governor. Prior to that, he was secretary of state; a member of the Louisiana Senate for 15 years, where he chaired the Senate Finance Committee; and a member of the Baton Rouge Metro Council. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the Edwards administration.
Chip Kline is the Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities and Chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board. In this position, Kline is responsible for coordinating and focusing the functions of all state agencies as they relate to integrated coastal protection. Since 2008, Kline has overseen the implementation of all policy matters related to Louisiana’s coastal program and has managed the day to day operations of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities.
Don Pierson brings more than 27 years of economic development experience into his role as Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development under Governor Edwards. Prior to taking over as Secretary, he served as the Senior Director of Business Development LED and as Assistant Secretary and Chief Marketing Officer for the agency since January 2005. Before coming to LED, Pierson served for 17 years in the Shreveport/Bossier community as Executive Director of the Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation.
Dr. Chuck Brown brings more than 34 years of experience in environmental regulation, project management, emergency response, risk analysis, research, governmental relations and waste management to his role as Governor Edwards’ secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. Prior to joining the Edwards administration, he served as the President and CEO of Brown and Associates, a private, global environmental consulting services firm based in Baton Rouge. Brown also served as the Vice President of Metro Services Group, a New Orleans firm with expertise and certifications in the areas of environmental services, construction/demolition and disaster response and recovery.
Jim Waskom is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army who served the United States for 33 years, including three combat tours during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn, totaling 30 months in a combat zone. During that time, he was the leader of two organizations directly responsible for the safety and welfare of more than 50,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Department of Defense civilians and foreign national workers. Jim owns his own private practice law firm and worked as a contract attorney with 15th Judicial District Court’s Indigent Defender’s Office. He is a former prosecutor in the 19th Judicial District and Inspector General of the Louisiana National Guard.
Dr. Phillips serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, returning to LDH after leading health departments in two other states. In October 2018, Phillips became the first woman to serve as the executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services (HHS). Before joining Texas HHS, Phillips served as the chief executive officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and spent 12 years with LDH in a variety of roles. As executive commissioner of Texas HHS, Dr. Phillips oversaw the largest state agency with more than 40,000 employees, a $78.5 billion operating budget and more than 220 programs, ranging from health care, food safety and benefits to public health tracking and regulation of child care, nursing, and health care facilities.
Ava Dejoie brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in public administration and workforce development to her role as Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She served as the Statewide Rapid Response Coordinator for the Louisiana Workforce Commission since 2012. Before joining the Workforce Commission, Ava worked as the Business Liaison for the Louisiana Department of Education, the manager of the Avondale Employee Transition Center and as the Vice President of the Welfare to Work Partnership.
Jimmy LeBlanc serves as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, a role which he has had since 2008. Previously, he served as the warden of the Dixon Correctional Institute, beginning in 1995. He has worked to promote public safety strategies aimed at reducing victimization and reducing the cost of incarceration while focusing on improving education, job skills and character-based training to reduce the rate of recidivism. He previously served as the Undersecretary for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections from 1992 to 1995, and from 1989 to 1992 he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary II for the Division of Enterprises.
Kimberly Lewis Robinson serves in the Edwards administration as the Secretary of the Department of Revenue. Prior to this, she was a partner at Jones Walker in Baton Rouge, focusing primarily on state and local tax matters. Robinson previously worked for six years in the Louisiana Department of Revenue, serving as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and Confidential Assistant to the Secretary.
Shawn Wilson serves as Governor Edwards’ Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development. Prior to this appointment, he served as Chief of Staff for the department for the three previous secretaries, under two governors.
Colonel Kevin Reeves, a native of Baton Rouge, received his degree from Louisiana Tech University. He began his career at the Louisiana State Police in 1990 as a trooper assigned to motorcycle patrols with Troop A in Baton Rouge. His career in the state police brought him to Troop F in Monroe in 1993, where he served as a squad leader for the mobile field force and as a case agent and undercover agent on many narcotics investigations and operations for the Bureau of Investigations. In 2008, he became the Troop Commander of Troop F before assuming the role of Command Inspector of Patrol Operations and Commander of Statewide Mobile Field Force Team in 2013. Colonel Reeves is married to Kristi Hall Reeves and they have three children – Kaleb, Kyle and Klayton.
Retired Col. Joey Strickland, a native of Tallulah, serves as the head of Louisiana’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Strickland is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Army, having served two combat tours in Vietnam. He previously served as the Director of Louisiana Troops to Teachers, Director of Veterans Affairs under Governor Mike Foster, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Governor Kathleen Blanco. For five years, he led the Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs.
Jack B. Montoucet was appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Gov. John Bel Edwards. From 2008 until his appointment Montoucet was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 42 that includes Lafayette and Acadia parishes. The resident of Crowley is a retired Chief of the Lafayette Fire Department and former co-owner of Jacques Crocs and Farm Pride Processors.
Marketa Garner Walters has worked for more than 20 years to improve the lives of children. From 1996 to 2004, Walters served as CEO of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. In 2004, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco tapped her to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Services, Office of Community Services, which was Louisiana’s child welfare agency. After serving four years under Governor Blanco, and another year under Governor Bobby Jindal, Walters served as Director of the Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center, a national technical assistance center focused on best practices in child welfare. She served as a child welfare consultant until Governor John Bel Edwards appointed her Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services in January 2016.
Tom Harris is a member of the State Mineral and Energy Board. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University and a Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology from the Tulane University School of Public Health. Tom was previously the Director of the Technology Assessment Division at the Department of Natural Resources since 2014 and also worked at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for 19 years. At the Department of Environmental Quality, he served as administrator, overseeing the remediation of contaminated sites from 2005 until early 2014.