Lutheran Social Services chief to lead DHS

Walz said Monday that Jodi Harpstead will replace Commissioner Tony Lourey starting next month.

Lutheran Social Services chief to lead DHS

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)-Gov. Tim Walz has named the leader of Lutheran Social Services to take over the state’s troubled Department of Human Services.

Walz said Monday that Jodi Harpstead will replace Commissioner Tony Lourey starting next month. DHS, the largest state agency, has been wracked by turmoil that included Lourey's abrupt resignation last month.

Harpstead has been president and chief executive at Lutheran Social Services for nearly a decade. Her background also includes 23 years at medical device maker Medtronic. Walz highlighted Harpstead's business credentials as well as her nonprofit work in announcing the appointment.

A pair of Minnesota Senate committees plan a joint hearing Tuesday on problems at DHS. Lourey quit just days after two deputy commissioners resigned without public explanation.

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