Ken Schatz to retire, Sean Brown to lead DCF

Vermont Business Magazine Wednesday, Governor Phil Scott announced the retirement of the Department for Children and Families’ (DCF) Commissioner Ken Schatz and the appointment of Sean Brown to be the next Commissioner of DCF. Schatz will be retiring on June 26, 2020 and Brown will assume the role on June 29, 2020.

Ken Schatz became Commissioner of the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) in September of 2014. Prior to this, Schatz held positions as the General Counsel for the Agency of Human Services; City Attorney for the City of Burlington; Deputy Defender General in Montpelier and as a Juvenile Defender in Montpelier. His career has also included work with the Mental Health and Development Disability Law projects and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

As Commissioner, Schatz focused on the safety and wellbeing of all Vermonters, particularly those receiving state assistance through DCF. Unlike most states, Vermont’s DCF includes welfare benefits, disability eligibility services, weatherization services, child support services, child care services, adoption and foster care services, child protection services, and youth and family homelessness.

“Ken has been a compassionate and balanced leader of DCF, and we wish him the very best in his retirement,” said Governor Phil Scott. “DCF is bigger than most state agencies and involves some of the most complicated and difficult work in state government. Ken oversaw it capably and leaves big shoes to fill,” Governor Scott said. “We are pleased to have Sean stepping into the role of Commissioner. DCF and the many programs it administers will be critical pieces in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The Agency of Human Services owes a debt of gratitude to Ken for his service through the years. He has dedicated his life to public service, and his commitment and enthusiasm to his work, gave a voice to those who needed it the most,” said Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith. “Ken epitomizes what it is to be a public servant. However, we are glad that Sean Brown will be serving as Commissioner. His experience within DCF will ensure a smooth transition for a critical department within our Agency.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of the dedicated staff of the Agency of Human Services supporting Vermont’s vulnerable children and families,” stated Commissioner Schatz. “I am appreciative of the opportunity to provide leadership for the talented and committed people in the Department for Children and Families for the last six years.”

“It has been a privilege to serve with Ken and I will miss working alongside him serving the children and families of Vermont. I wish him all the best as he transitions to the next chapter of his life,” stated Deputy Commissioner Sean Brown. “I look forward to working with all the skilled staff at DCF and its many partners, to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the department in the coming months.”

Brown has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Economic Services Division within the Department for Children and Families (DCF-ESD) since April 2014. In this role, he is responsible for administering Vermont’s 3SquaresVT, Reach Up, Low Income Home Energy Assistance and General Assistance programs. Prior to his current position, Brown served as an Operations Director for DCF-ESD from early 2012 until his appointment as Deputy Commissioner. He has also worked in the Office of Child Support and Department of Mental Health.

In addition to his state service, Brown served eight years as a member of the Orange School Board and was Chair of the board for 5 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, as well as a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute-Snelling Center for Government. He grew up in Fairfax, VT where is parents continue to reside. Sean currently lives with his family in Orange, Vermont.

Source: Montpelier, Vt. – Governor 6.3.2020