Ed Lake has served as the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) since November 1, 2012. With offices in all 77 counties, DHS is the largest state agency with more than 7,000 employees and a $2.3 billion budget. About a million Oklahomans each year are touched daily by more than 40 state and federal human services programs administered by DHS.
Lake came to Oklahoma from Nashville, Tennessee where he worked at almost every level of the Tennessee Department of Human Services from 1973 until retiring in 2011 as the deputy commissioner.
Having had extensive experience with organizational change and comprehensive restructuring of the Tennessee DHS, Lake has managed the restructuring of Oklahoma’s DHS and the reform of the state’s foster care system which began shortly before he arrived in 2012.
Under his leadership, DHS is working improve client services and build external support of the department’s efforts by working closely with legislators, contract providers, advisory groups, advocates, and other key external stakeholder groups. Lake reports to the Governor of Oklahoma, the Honorable Mary Fallin.
Lake holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from East Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.