About DHS

Fariborz Pakseresht, DHS Director

Fariborz Pakseresht, DHS Director

Fariborz Pakseresht (Fair'-borz Pahk'-ser-esht) became the Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) in September 2017.

Fariborz came to DHS from the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) where he was responsible for the state's juvenile corrections agency. During his time at OYA, he was honored with the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Council of Juvenile Corrections Administrators for his leadership and contributions in the field of juvenile justice.

Earlier in his career, he served eight years with DHS in a variety of leadership roles. He also spent 11 years with the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.

Fariborz earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Willamette University and holds a certificate in public management from Willamette's Atkinson Graduate School of Management.


Liesel Wendt, DHS Deputy Director

Liesl Wendt, DHS Deputy Director

Liesl joined DHS in November 2018 as the deputy director. She brings experience from both inside and outside the DHS during her more than 20 years working in the government and non-profit sectors.

Liesl has served as a technical advisor to the Oregon Department of Justice on the temporary lodging of children and youth in our Child Welfare program. She also was the director of Self-Sufficiency Programs, departing in 2014 to serve as an interim Multnomah County commissioner and later taking on the director of Multnomah County Human Services role.

She built strong and enduring connections at the state and local levels as the Chief Executive Officer of 211Info, a community information organization. During her five years with 211Info, Liesl led the organization's expansion across Oregon, adoption of new communications technologies and an increase in the specialization of services.

She also has worked in Oregon local government and with other non-profits in policy advocacy, community engagement and program management positions, and has held leadership roles with United Way Worldwide.


Don Erickson, Chief Administrative Officer

Don Erickson, Chief Administrative Officer

Don Erickson is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Oregon Department of Human Services. He oversees 12 programs which help support the work of the department, including: Contracts and Procurement; Facilities; Imaging and Records Management Services; Background Check Unit; Information Support Services; Business Information Systems; Publications and Creative Services; Payment Accuracy and Recovery; and Program Integrity.

Erickson is a licensed mental health therapist in several states including Oregon. He began his career in a Western Montana outpatient behavioral health clinic specializing in substance abuse and mental health treatment. In addition to counseling, throughout most of his career, Don has taught graduate-level courses, provided clinical supervision and served on licensing and ethics review boards. He has been recognized as an authority on the treatment of post-traumatic stress and trauma informed care and suicide prevention. Increasingly, Erickson's work has focused on the development and implementation of innovative behavioral health and human service programs.

Erickson has worked as the Bureau Chief of Behavioral Health Services for the State of Arizona where he implemented evidence-based programs for children's wraparound services, employment and housing services for consumers in behavioral health system, intensive adult case management and peer delivered services. He has authored and implemented policies for behavioral health services for infants and toddlers, children's trauma informed treatment and served as executive sponsor for Arizona's Driving Suicide to Zero program.

In 2012 Don was awarded the National Council of State Governments annual award for Innovation, Excellence and Ingenuity for his role in creating and implementing a statewide suicide prevention program.


Eric Moore, Chief Financial Officer

Eric Moore, Chief Financial Officer

In July 2008 Eric moved to the Children Adults and Families Division of DHS and became the Chief Financial Officer of DHS in July 2011.

Eric received a BS in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark.

After becoming a member of the Oregon State Bar, Eric began his public service career with the Department of Revenue in November 1995. In 1997 he joined the Oregon Department of Transportation to do personal services contract work. In 1998 Eric moved to the Oregon DMV to become the first Records Policy Unit manager. From 2000 to 2005 Eric was a Presiding and then Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge with the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings. In 2005 Eric moved to the Budget and Management Division of DAS as the DHS Health Services and Children Adults and Families Budget and Policy Analyst for the Governor's budget.


Michael McCormick, Aging & People with Disabilities Interim Director

Michael McCormick, Aging, People with Disabilities Deputy Director

With more than two decades of state service, and a majority of those with the Department of Human Services, Mike McCormick has extensive knowledge of the agency's program structure, client needs and policy guidelines.

Mike served as the Deputy Director of the Aging and People with Disabilities program in 2012 and from December 2015 to October 2019, when he assumed the Interim Director position. Mike was a key leader in securing approval for Oregon's 1915(K) State Plan Option. He then used these tools to dramatically expand the percentage of individuals receiving services in their own home.

Prior to his work with Aging and People with Disabilities, Mike led the Department's Office of Rates, Contracting and Research. During his tenure, Mike provided leadership on financial management, effective use of data in administering programs and establishing fair, competitive rates for long-term care providers.

During his leadership role for the Provider Audit Section, Mike adopted a data analytics approach towards assessing risk of errors, fraud and abuse in Oregon Health Plan's medical programs. Under Mike's leadership, millions of tax dollars were recovered and ultimately were used to fund needed services for Oregonians.

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Mike graduated from University of Oregon with a BS in Business Administration.


Rebecca Jones Gaston, Child Welfare Director

Rebecca Jones Gaston, Child Welfare Director

Rebecca became the Child Welfare Director in November 2019 after serving as the executive director of the Social Services Administration at the Maryland Department of Human Services. In that role, she oversaw both child welfare and adult services, which focuses on the needs of the elderly, disabled and vulnerable adults.

Rebecca has worked in human services and child welfare for more than 19 years as a social worker, advocate, therapist, consultant, and administrator. She spent eight years with Casey Family Programs, providing technical assistance to child welfare agencies throughout the United States. Rebecca also served as the national director of a campaign for foster and adoptive families in collaboration with the Ad Council and Children’s Bureau. She was a program director with the National Association of Former Foster Care Children of America and a program coordinator for the National Center on Permanency for African American Children at Howard University.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.


Jana McLellan, Child Welfare Deputy Director

Jana McLellan, Child Welfare Deputy Director

Jana serves as the deputy director of Child Welfare programs. In this role she oversees budget, operations and administration of the program to ensure safe, efficient, collaborative and responsive service delivery.

With years of experience in leadership roles in the public and private sectors, Jana has built a career on transformational change. As director of the State Operated Community Programs in the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, she created the Stabilization and Crisis Unit. This effort involved working with more than 20 residential group homes to refocus their purpose in order to fulfill the state’s need for short-term, intensive treatment facilities for vulnerable Oregonians.

Prior to her work with DHS, Jana served as executive director of the vocational rehabilitation nonprofit Port City Development Center, and held several roles in Multnomah County Government, including as Chief Operating Officer. Jana also served as the Interim Child Welfare Director from June through October 2019.

Jana holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in juvenile justice from the University of Oregon.


Lilia Teninty, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Director

Lilia Teninty, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Director

In her role as the Director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) in DHS, Lilia is responsible for the development, oversight and delivery of intellectual and developmental disability services across Oregon.

Lilia brings with her over 13 years of experience, 11 of those working specifically with Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) programs. She has worked in several states, in a variety of roles. She began her career in the field of I/DD working for a small non-profit that provided assistive technology to people with disabilities. In 2003 she began working for the State of Indiana, where she supervised the Medicaid waiver unit and moved on to become the Chief of Staff for the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (2006-2007). Lilia later accepted the position of Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities for the State of Illinois (2007-2011). In 2011 she moved to Oregon to work for the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI). As a Senior Policy Specialist at HSRI, she provided consultation on Medicaid policies and funding mechanisms for people with I/DD to several states.

Prior to starting her career, Lilia earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Mills College and her Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University. Lilia has a passion for public service and has dedicated most of her career to serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Anna Lansky, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Deputy Director

Anna Lansky, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Deputy Director

Anna Lansky became the Deputy Director for the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services in 2015. In partnership with DD Director, she works to set and implement the strategic vision for DD programs in Oregon, and shares accountability for services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and for the work of the DD program staff.

Prior to DHS, Anna worked at the UALR Survey Research Center and was co-author and leading contributor to several of the studies. Since 2005, she worked on automated cost allocation, financial systems and business process improvement projects at the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Anna also worked with the DHS Office of Policy and Planning, and lead efforts related to health care reform.

In 2012, Anna became the Assistant Director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services in Arkansas, leading efforts to improve home and community based services.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Global Studies from Hendrix College, where she graduated with Distinction and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She has volunteered with international nonprofit organizations such as Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Heifer International.


Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Programs Director

Dan Haun, Director, Self-Sufficiency Programs

Dan Huan has been the Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP) since July 2019 and is responsible for leading the agency’s anti-poverty programs. He served as the SSP deputy director between May 2016 and June 2019.

Dan joined SSP after serving as the deputy director of Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation, bringing vast workforce experience to support the agency's anti-poverty work. His background includes service as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, branch manager, workforce programs coordinator, and interim program and policy manager. He also has been the director of adult services for Pearl Buck in Eugene; a project coordinator for Chemeketa Community College workforce programs; and an assistant manager of local employment department offices.

He holds a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Western Oregon University and a bachelor's degree from St. Louis University in Missouri.


Claire Seguin, Self-Sufficiency Programs Deputy Director

Claire Seguin, Deputy Director, Self-Sufficiency Programs

Claire Seguin joined DHS as the Deputy Director of Self-Sufficiency Programs in July 2019.

Claire has over 30 years of experience in community development during which time she has led successful community development corporations in southern California, built affordable housing, worked on community revitalization and has been a strong advocate for anti-poverty programs.

Claire came to DHS from Oregon Housing and Community Services where she served as the assistant director of housing stabilization, overseeing Homeless Services, Energy Services, the Individual Development Account program and HUD Contract Administration from January 2015 to July 2019. She served five years as executive director for both the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) and Community LendingWorks, its affiliate community development financial institution, which provides coordinated and comprehensive asset building programs to Lane, Marion and Clackamas Counties.

She attended the University of Arizona studying Communications-Radio and Television and has completed executive education programs at San Diego State University, Indiana University, the Harvard Business School and Notre Dame.


Keith Ozols, Vocational Rehabilitation Director

Keith Ozols, Interim Vocational Rehabilitation Director

Keith Ozols was named the Director for Vocational Rehabilitation in July 2019. He has been with DHS for eight years.

Keith previously served as the workforce and youth manager for Vocational Rehabilitation since 2015, overseeing expanding programs relating to workforce engagement, benefits planning, the Oregon Ticket to Work program and multiple transition programs for students with disabilities.

Before joining DHS, Keith was the executive director of Incight, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides educational and employment services for people with disabilities. His prior experience includes counseling English language learners in workforce, college and career readiness.


Heather Lindsey, Vocational Rehabilitation Deputy Director

Heather Lindsey, Deputy Director, Vocational Rehabilitation

Heather Lindsey was named the Deputy Director for Vocational Rehabilitation in September 2019.

Heather previously served as the secondary transition liaison for the Oregon Department of Education, providing statewide management in the area of special education transition services and supporting the Department as it addresses the Lane v. Brown settlement. Heather has more than 15 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation, as a vocational evaluator, VR Counselor, and specialist in the field.

She has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from St. Louis-based Maryville University.

​​​​​​​​​​​