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Diann Dawson

Director, Office of Regional Operations

Diann Dawson serves as the Director of the Office of Regional Operations within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A senior level director and principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary regarding field operations, she provides leadership and direction to ACF’s ten regional offices responsible for federal oversight and implementation of more than 60 human service programs to promote the well-being of children and families. Those programs include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Child Care, Child Support Enforcement, Head Start, Foster Care and Adoption, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare, and Runaway and Homeless Youth.

A career public servant with over 30 years of Federal executive leadership and State program management experience, Dawson is the recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service which recognizes outstanding achievement by members of the Senior Executive Service. She is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

With a background in social work, Dawson understands the critical nature of love and support, intangible lessons, and indispensable characteristics that children obtain from their parents. She has been instrumental in helping ACF work to strengthen and rebuild families through the Healthy Marriage Initiative. As part of her present role, Dawson effectively guides regional support of Healthy Marriage Initiative goals across the country. Dawson also provided the leadership to create the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI) along with her executive staff in 2003, laying the foundation of a national family strengthening movement for African Americans. Through culturally competent strategies and collaborations with partners spanning various sectors, she champions efforts to improve child well-being through strengthening healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood to help ensure that all children have access to vital life components needed from their parents.

Ms. Dawson received her J.D. degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She holds a M.S.W. degree with a concentration in community organization and social planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ms. Dawson is married and the mother of one son.