Secretary David Wilkins, Florida Department of Children and Families
His vision for the Department is focused on empowering front-line staff, engaging communities, improving programs and helping families become accountable and self-sufficient. Early in 2011, Secretary Wilkins launched several business improvements focused on operational efficiency and improved customer service in child welfare, benefit eligibility determination and in the substance abuse and mental health service delivery area.
Secretary Wilkins has emphasized the necessity of community engagement in helping children, families and vulnerable adults across the state. He has reorganized his regional operations to focus on community empowerment. With the leadership of Gov. Rick Scott, he kicked off a new initiative called “Partners for Promise,” which connects businesses to people in the community who need a helping hand. He launched a faith-based agenda for the Department, and he created “Camps for Champions,” a statewide program that gives thousands of foster children the chance to go to a summer camp and connect with nationally recognized celebrities.
In March 2012, Governor Scott appointed Secretary Wilkins as Florida’s Chief Operating Officer for Government Operations. As COO, he assisted all executive branch agencies in increasing efficiencies and reducing government bureaucracy. Secretary Wilkins is the chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, serves on the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force and sits on the Attorney General’s Commission on Drug Abuse and Prevention.
In 2010, Secretary Wilkins retired from Accenture after a 29-year career with the global management, consulting, technology and business operations company. Promoted to partner at the age of 32, Wilkins served in numerous management roles in a business that had more than 200,000 employees and a market cap of more than $34 billion. His work included overseeing local offices and directing business in more than 25 countries. He led the government strategic planning and corporate acquisitions and operated several business units. For the last five years of his tenure, he was in charge of the global sales organization of the Accenture Health and Public Service business, which was one of the five major business units in the company.
Secretary Wilkins was an active volunteer for the United Way and at the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, serving on the board of directors for both organizations. He also helped launch “Orphan’s Heart,” a successful international child care services program. He and his wife Tanya have been recognized for their philanthropy and civic leadership numerous times and are active in their local church.
A native of Kentucky, Secretary Wilkins graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lambuth University in 1982 with a B.S. degree in Management Information Systems. He was president of the student body and his fraternity. He was a varsity scholarship athlete in basketball and tennis. Secretary Wilkins, his wife and three teenage daughters live in Tallahassee and are active in numerous charitable and community organizations.