Click to print Close window
Georgia Seal

Governor Perdue Appoints New Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources

Wednesday, April 21, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of B.J. Walker as the new Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources (DHR). Walker replaces Jim Martin who served as DHR Commissioner from September 2001 to November 2003. Maria Greene has served as Acting Commissioner since November 2003 and will return to her prior position as Director of the DHR Division of Aging.

"B.J. is a proven leader with a demonstrated ability to make decisions, inspire confidence, and bring out the best efforts of those working with her," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "The Department of Human Resources faces some serious challenges that will require transforming its culture and operations. I am confident that B.J. is uniquely qualified to meet these challenges."

"I also want to thank Maria Greene for her service as Acting Commissioner. She has led the Department through this transition, and I appreciate her leadership and service during this time," added Governor Perdue.

Walker, 54, has served as the Chief of Human Infrastructure for the City of Chicago, Office of Mayor Richard M. Daley for the last five years. As the city's chief mayoral aide for agencies and departments serving the human needs of Chicago residents, she was responsible for leading and coordinating efforts to promote and support the well-being of the city's children and families.

"B.J. Walker is an incredible find for the State of Georgia," said Bruce Cook, Chairman of the Department of Human Resources Board. "She's a transformational leader with solid experience operating large, complex human services organizations in addition to having values that closely align with Governor Perdue's objectives."

Prior to her position with the City of Chicago, Walker served four years with the State of Illinois, including two years as Director of Community Operations for the Illinois Department of Human Services where she managed 5400 employees. From 1995 to 1997, she was Assistant to Illinois Governor Jim Edgar for Human Services Reform and was responsible for managing a statewide human services reform effort and an unprecedented reorganization of the state's human service agencies.

Walker earned her bachelor's degree in religion from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts and a master's degree in history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.