Governor Abbott Announces New Leadership At HHSC
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Texas Health and Human Services Commission Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek has expressed his intention to resign, effective July 1, 2015. Governor Abbott simultaneously announced his intention to appoint Chris Traylor as Executive Commissioner and named Charles Smith Deputy Executive Commissioner of the agency.
“I thank Dr. Janek for his years of dedication and service to the State of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “I look forward to working with Chris Traylor to make needed reforms to ensure that the millions of Texans who rely on the vital services HHSC performs are able to have the utmost trust in the agency. Chris Traylor and Charles Smith have the proven leadership experience necessary to address the challenges facing HHSC, and I am confident in their ability to confront these challenges head on.”
Chris Traylor is the Deputy Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. He previously led the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) from 2010 to 2012 as the agency implemented broad reforms to improve state supported living centers that serve people with profound developmental disabilities. While at DADS, Traylor successfully worked to extend community care to more Texans with disabilities.
Before joining DADS, Traylor served as the Texas Medicaid director for three years. Under his leadership, Texas developed health passports for children in foster care, known as the STAR Health program, which has been nationally recognized for improving coordination of services for children in state custody. Traylor also helped integrate acute and long-term care services for Texans who are elderly or have disabilities, reducing the wait for services that allow people to get care in their homes and communities.
Traylor's 25 years of public service include serving as chief of staff at HHSC and manager of the day-to-day operations of the consolidation of Texas health and human services agencies in 2004, as well as serving on the staff of former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. Traylor is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Charles Smith currently serves as the Deputy for Child Support at the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Then-Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed Smith as Deputy for Child Support in 2013. In this role, Smith is responsible for the overall delivery of child support services performed by the division’s 2,700 employees. Smith began his career in the Attorney General’s office as a volunteer in the Child Support Division in 1988, and attained positions of increasing responsibility during his 26 year career within the Division. Smith served as the Division’s deputy director from 2004-2013 overseeing field operations. During Smith’s tenure, he led the Division’s transformation to become the top-rated child support program in the nation. Smith is recognized as a leader in personnel management, analytics, innovation, organization, streamlining processes and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. His work in this area has earned him multiple awards throughout his career, and under Smith’s leadership the Texas Child Support Division has been recognized as the most efficient and effective program in the nation for two years in a row.
Smith is seen as a natural and national leader in the child support community. He recently served as President of the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council and currently serves as President-elect of the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
Smith was re-appointed to his position by current Attorney General Ken Paxton in January 2015. Smith is a graduate of Texas Tech University.