Acting Secretary Laura Howard

KDADS Interim Secretary Laura Howard

KDADS Acting Secretary Laura Howard joined the agency January 14, 2019. Secretary Howard has spent more than 15 years of her career working in human services at the state and federal level. Howard said the secretary position drew her in due to the opportunity to make a real impact for the most vulnerable Kansans. She also said she was particularly drawn to the opportunity to be a part of informing and implementing policies to strengthen all Kansas families.

During the span of her career, Howard served in various roles at the then Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) from 1997 to 2011, including as Assistant Secretary, Deputy Secretary for Health Care Policy and Deputy Secretary for Operations. After leaving state service in 2011, she served for three years as the Region VII Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Regional Administrator within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For the last 4 years, she  has led the KU Public Management Center. In that role, Howard had the opportunity to interact with KDADS staff  through the Center’s Emerging Leaders and Certified Public Management® programs.