Two-time St. Thomas Alumna Named Minnesota Human Services Commissioner

Emily Johnson Piper

Emily Johnson Piper

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has chosen Emily Johnson Piper ’02, J.D. ’05 to be commissioner of the Department of Human Services. The appointment was announced in December and went into effect the same month. Johnson Piper previously served as Dayton’s general counsel and deputy chief of staff.

As noted in the Star Tribune: “The commissioner of the Department of Human Services is widely regarded as one of the most challenging jobs in state government. The commissioner oversees a two-year budget of $33.8 billion as well more than 6,000 workers who do everything from overseeing child protection to caring for people with disabilities. The job entails complex financial, policy, political and legal challenges, and dozens of constituencies, from regulated industries to the families of people with disabilities to state legislators.”

Johnson Piper is the not the first St. Thomas law graduate to be named to an important leadership role in recent months. Santo Cruz ’10 recently was named assistant commissioner and general counsel of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laura Hammargren ’08 was named partner at Mayer Brown in Chicago and Beth Forsythe ’06 was named partner at Dorsey.

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