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Career Center 

DSHS Assistant Secretary of Developmental Disabilities Administration (State of Washington)

Company: Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Location: State of Washington

State of Washington Dept. of Social and Health Services invites applications for the position of:
DSHS Assistant Secretary of Developmental Disabilities Administration

SALARY: $150,000.00 - $160,000.00 Annually
OPENING DATE: 02/09/21
CLOSING DATE: 03/15/21 11:59 PM

DSHS Assistant Secretary of Developmental Disabilities Administration

As part of a future-focused agency comprised of people serving people, we are caring, antiracist, person-centered and innovative. The Assistant Secretary of the Developmental Disabilities Administration is a highly valued member of the Secretary’s executive cabinet and leads an administration that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Joining the executive leadership team of the Department of Social and Health Services, this person will be a strategic leader at the macro and micro levels to advance developmental disabilities issues toward solutions while fostering cultural and organizational change.

Directly reporting to the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, the Assistant Secretary leads initiatives using innovation, compelling communication and collaboration internally and externally to identify how we can advance the delivery of social services for Washingtonians.

As a national leader, DSHS/DDA provides case management, residential, employment and day services and other supports to clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. DDA employs over 4000 people, has a biennial budget of 3.7 billion and provides critical services to 64,130 clients in Washington State.

Knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be successful:

  • Social justice work
  • Client advocacy
  • Policy development
  • Working with local and government officials
  • Labor management
  • Budget and finance
  • Strategic planning
  • Legislative experience
  • Stakeholder work
  • Regulatory compliance

Primary priorities

  • Maintain and develop a long-range course of action connected to our purpose to ensure successful realization of the Developmental Disabilities Administration’s vision to support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families to get services and supports based on need and choice. 
  • Cultivate commitment to fundamental strategic and cultural change throughout DDA to align with DSHS’s vision that people are healthy, people are safe, people have support and taxpayer resources are guarded.
  • Ensure quality service for Washingtonians with developmental and intellectual disabilities to continue advancing in best practices in the administration.
  • Ensure policies, procedures and internal controls comply with appropriate laws, regulations and guidelines.
  • Operate within the administration’s legislatively authorized appropriation.
  • Create an inclusive environment in which services are designed to ensure client and stakeholder satisfaction, including effectively considering the varying perspectives such as facility and/or community-based structures in all business activities.
  • Advance public policies of Washington’s programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that promote self-worth, respect and dignity, and ensure each individual is recognized as a contributing member of the community.
  • Lead and maintain an engaged workforce that is well-trained, diverse and qualified.
  • Participate in the Secretary’s Executive Cabinet, serving as a subject matter expert regarding DDA and the DSHS enterprise. 

Education and Experience

  • A bachelor’s degree in social work, human services, business administration, public administration, health care administration, finance or a related field.
  • Seven years working in support of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a local, state or federal government.
  • Executive-level experience with policy, strategic planning, labor relations, legislative relations and social justice.
  • Knowledge of and experience in the authorizing of government and legislative processes, and how to navigate that environment to achieve agency goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective team management, results-driven leadership, quality assurance, bargaining, excellent communication and ability to solve problems.
  • An understanding of public policy issues and interests that impact social service.
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships with constituent groups and legislators.
  • Demonstrated success in working collaboratively with labor union partners.

Application and Process:
For the Assistant Secretary, we would like to extend an offer of employment by April 30, 2021. The start date is negotiable.

Applicant material received by March 15 will be given guaranteed consideration. Applicants deemed to have the most relevant demonstrated experience will be contacted for further interview and selection.
To be considered, please submit a resume and cover letter addressing your interest and the knowledge, skills and abilities noted in this profile to Lindsey White at Lindsey.White@dshs.wa.gov or 360-890-5962.

To learn more about the Assistant Secretary opportunity, DSHS, and DDA, click here to view the executive advertisement. (Download PDF reader)


Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history may be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the job. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver's license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any area of employment, its programs or services on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protected veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

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