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Justin Brown

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government

Justin Brown served as Oklahoma’s Cabinet Secretary of Human Services and Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services from 2019 to 2023. In July 2023, Brown stepped away from state service with confidence in the transition strategy and with a deep desire to continue human services transformation across America through independent consulting.


While at Oklahoma Human Services, Brown introduced a grassroots strategic planning effort and human services operating system known as the ‘True North.’ Because of this transformational approach, OKDHS was able to remain focused on the agency’s long-term strategies during the pandemic, instead of assuming a defensive posture during this time of dramatic disruption. As a strong relationship builder, Brown built a culture of true collaboration with state and federal agencies, local non-profits, philanthropic foundations, legislators and with the communities that the agency serves, aligning stakeholders in a common vision and with connected definitions of success.  


In 2022 & 2023, Secretary Brown served as Chairman of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) Leadership Council and as a member of the Governing Board of Directors, as well as a member of the National Governor’s Association’s (NGA) Core Advisory Board for Children and Families. In addition to his public service, Secretary Brown has built a passion for serving seniors and children through non-profit organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Hospital Foundation, YMCA, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, among others.


Brown and his wife, Kelly, have been married for 21 years and have two children, Hannah and Ford.