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ODHS Leadership

Meet our leadership team

Fariborz Pakseresht, ODHS Director

Fariborz Pakseresht, ODHS Director

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

Fariborz came to ODHS 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 ODHS 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.

Liesl Wendt, ODHS Deputy Director

Liesl Wendt, ODHS Deputy Director

Liesl joined ODHS in November 2018 as the Deputy Director. She brings experience from both inside and outside the ODHS 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.

Seth Lyon, Chief Operations Officer

Seth Lyon, ODHS Chief Operations Officer

Seth Lyon is the Chief Operations Officer for the Oregon Department of Human Services. He oversees 12 offices that help support the work of the department, including Contracts and Procurement; Facilities; Imaging and Records Management Services; Background Check Unit; Business Information Systems; Publications and Creative Services; Payment Accuracy and Recovery; and Program Integrity. 

Seth joined ODHS in 2016, first serving as the training unit manager for the agency's Self-Sufficiency Programs (SSP), then as district manager in Clackamas County for SSP and Child Welfare. Seth previously worked for the Multnomah County Human Services Housing Team and Behavioral Health Division. Seth is a licensed clinical social worker who holds a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rob Kodiriy, Chief Financial Officer

Rob Kodiriy, ODHS Interim Chief Financial Officer

Rob Kodiriy joined ODHS in 2021 as Deputy Chief Financial Officer, served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer starting in February 2023 and became the permanent Chief Financial Officer in June 2023. Since 1998, Rob has worked in various roles in finance and operations in publicly traded companies, non-governmental and nonprofit organizations, and private medium-sized companies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Before joining ODHS, he directed finance, budget and contracting services for the Multnomah County Department of Human Services. From 2011-2013, he served as a senior fiscal analyst at the Oregon Health Authority.

Rob has served in a variety of volunteer roles for organizations such as the Oregon Council of Health Care Interpreters, the Oregon HealthCare Interpreters Association, the Good News Community Health Center, the Portland Police Bureau and the City of Troutdale Budget Committee. Rob holds a military rank of lieutenant, a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Samarkand State University and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Nakeshia Knight-Coyle, Office of Aging and People with Disabilities Director

Nakeshia Knight-Coyle, Aging and People with Disabilities Director

Nakeshia Knight-Coyle was named Director of the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) in September 2022 after serving as the division's interim director.

A social justice leader who has served the State of Oregon since 2010, Nakeshia's expertise is in setting the strategic vision for human services organizations in collaboration with the communities they serve. She has over 25 years of health and human services experiences, both international and domestic, that have focused primarily in the public sphere. She previously served as APD's Equity Strategy Manager, a role in which she established a foundation for APD to systemically embed equity protocols in all policy and rulemaking as well as in its operations. Prior to rejoining ODHS in 2021, she served as the Senior Advisor for Equity Initiatives in Oregon's Early Learning Division. Her other roles with the Division included Director of Grants and Operations and Director of Programs and Cross Systems Integration. Earlier in her career she worked for APD as the Aging and Disability Resource Connection Coordinator and Interim Manager for the State Unit on Aging. 

Nakeshia earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Portland State University, holds a Master's Degree in Social Welfare and has completed significant graduate studies in health policy, management and behavior at the State University of New York at Albany. She also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Ohio University.

Aprille Flint-Gerner, Child Welfare Division Director

Aprille Flint-Gerner, Child Welfare Division Interim Director

Aprille Flint-Gerner was named Director of the Child Welfare Division in July 2023 after previously serving as the Child Welfare Interim Director. She has more than 25 years of experience with the public sector and has specialized experience in workforce and adaptive leadership development, community and cross-system engagement, technical assistance and implementation support and coaching to leaders in various private and public sector settings.

Aprille is considered an expert in many promising practices and equity frameworks in child welfare and human services, having worked in various systems in both California and Nevada prior to Oregon. With a strong commitment to promoting equity and inclusion and modeling cultural humility, she has helped countless leaders and organizations work toward practice and system transformation. Aprille was published in the Translational Behavioral Medicine journal on her work with engaging community and Tribal partners in practice and system improvement efforts and served as California's Core Practice Model faculty, who have spent the last decade working toward building an integrated practice model for Human Services.

Aprille holds a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies and a Master of Social Work, from San Jose State University.

Dana Hittle, Office of Developmental Disabilities Services Interim Director

Dana Hittle, Developmental Disabilities Services Interim Director

Dana Hittle became the Interim Director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) in March 2024. She had served as ODDS’ Interim Deputy Director since October 2023. Prior to that, she spent 21 years of her public service career with the Oregon Medicaid program that covers more than 1.4 million individuals. Under her leadership as Medicaid Director, Oregon became the first state to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for individuals from birth to age six. Oregon also became the first state to gain approval through a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver to provide services for health-related social needs, such as nutrition assistance, medically necessary short-term housing benefits and help managing the effects of climate change. Before serving as Medicaid Director, Dana served as Deputy Medicaid Director, Medicaid Liaison to ODHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for long-term services and supports, the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities’ (APD) Medicaid State Plan and Waiver Analyst, APD’s Medicaid Quality Assurance Analyst and an Assistant Estate Administrator.

Claire Seguin, Self-Sufficiency Programs Director

Claire Seguin, Self-Sufficiency Programs Interim Director

Claire Seguin was appointed the Self-Sufficiency Programs Director in July 2023 after previously serving as the Self-Sufficiency Programs Interim Director and Deputy Director. She is also the State Refugee Coordinator for Oregon. 

Claire has more than 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 ODHS 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 Services Director

Keith Ozols, Vocational Rehabilitation Services Director

Keith Ozols was named Director of Vocational Rehabilitation in July 2019. He has been with ODHS since 2011. Keith previously served as the VR workforce and youth manager since 2015, overseeing the expansion of programs relating to workforce engagement, benefits planning, the Oregon Ticket to Work program and multiple transition programs for students with disabilities.

Prior to joining ODHS, 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.

Dion Jordan, Office of Equity and Multicultural Services Director

Dion Jordan, Office of Equity and Multicultural Services Director

Dion Jordan is currently the Director of the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services where he helps lead the Oregon Department of Human Services to become more equitable, accessible, and racially just. Prior to serving as Director of OEMS, Dion was the Equity and Inclusion Manager of Multnomah County's Human Resources Department. With over 15 years of experience in this field, Dion has helped to bring a sense of trust, safety and belonging to all while embedding equity and inclusion within organizations people, places, policies and practices.

Sherril Kuhns, Office of Tribal Affairs Interim Director

Sherril Kuhns, Office of Tribal Affairs Interim Director

Sherril Kuhns was appointed Interim Director of the Office of Tribal Affairs in March of 2024. Sherril joined the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) in 2000 as an administrative assistant for the Medical Assistance Resource team. As part of ODHS Federal Policy and Resources, Sherril worked in various capacities and was promoted to management in 2008. Sherril cultivated relationships with the Nine Federally Recognized Tribes of Oregon as the manager of the Federal Policy and Resources team. Her responsibility included development of Tribal Agreements for state and federal funds. Currently five Federally Recognized Tribes in Oregon have active Title IV-E Agreements.

Sherril was born and raised in midwestern Oregon with strong family ties to the McMinnville area. One of five children, Sherril takes pride in being the middle child as she brings balance and perspective to her large family.

Sherril’s 25 years of management experience, her solution driven approach, and energized and humble leadership style is what makes her the ideal candidate to continue the momentum of the Office of Tribal Affairs.

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