Ron DeSantis Picks Chad Poppell to Lead DCF

Incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis has named former Department of Management Services Secretary Chad Poppell to head up the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

DeSantis announced bringing Poppell on board on Thursday. The incoming governor takes over in Tallahassee next week.

“Chad Poppell is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of achievement within the public sector,” said DeSantis on Thursday. “From his service at the Department of Economic Opportunity to his leadership at the Department of Management Services, Chad is the kind of leader who will be committed to strengthening Florida’s families and fighting for Florida’s children.”


While he is currently with IBM Industry client Leader for Florida’s Public Sector, Poppell has considerable experience in state government, including leading the Department of Management Services where, according to DeSantis’ team, “he worked to support state agencies as well as current and former state employees with workforce and business-related functions.”

Before working at the Department of Management Services, Poppell was the chief of staff at the Department of Economic Opportunity. Before that, Poppell was based on the First Coast including serving  as director of employee services at JEA in Jacksonville. He also worked for the city of Jacksonville as chief of human resources.


Kevin Derby can be reached at


Kevin Derby
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