“We engaged hundreds of stakeholders and partners and what we heard is that this leader must be passionate about the people served and vision for the agency. Tony is that leader,” said Walz. “He will bring his unparalleled expertise on the DHS budget and be a collaborative leader that listens and works together – especially with the agency’s partners, counties, and tribes.”

“Tony knows the importance of listening across race, parties, geography and will build a team of diverse voices,” said Flanagan. “With Tony as the leader of this agency, we know our vision of One Minnesota will be implemented in helping every child and family in our state reach their full potential.”

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to join the incoming Walz-Flanagan Administration as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services,” said Lourey. “I look forward to building on the Governor-elect and Lt. Governor-elect’s vision for One Minnesota, partnering with counties, tribes, and providers to improve the health of the people, families, and communities across Minnesota.”

“Tony Lourey has been a trusted partner and advocate for counties during his time in the Minnesota Senate. He understands the unique partnership between the state and counties in the delivery of human services programs, and has worked with us to simplify, streamline, and improve these programs for all Minnesotans,” said Julie Ring, Executive Director of the Association of Minnesota Counties. “We look forward to working with him as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.”

About Tony Lourey

Tony Lourey, 51, was raised in the small town of Kerrick in Greater Minnesota, where he spent most of his adult life as a community leader. Tony worked as a public policy consultant for 20 years, assisting county and state governments nationwide in finding ways to finance health and human services programs. He remained committed to local community by serving as a Kerrick Township Supervisor for nine years. Tony was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2006 and quickly became a leading voice in health and human services as the Chair of the Health and Human Finance committee from 2013 to 2016. Tony played a central role in Minnesota’s efforts to expand health care coverage, compliance with the Affordable Care Act, and improvements upon the bipartisan success of MinnesotaCare. In addition to his senatorial and farming duties, Tony teaches at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and serves as a volunteer lawyer for children in the foster care system.

Tony received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the then-William Mitchell College of Law, where he focused on labor law and public policy. He has been married to his wife, Marlana, for 27 years, and together they have three adult children.

About the Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) provides services to help Minnesotans meet their basic needs, so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential. The department serves over a million Minnesotans in 87 counties and 11 tribes, providing essential services from child support to food assistance. While the majority of human services in Minnesota are provided by our partners, DHS (at the direction of the governor and Legislature) sets policies and directs the payments for many of the services delivered.


In the interest of transparency, the incoming Walz-Flanagan Administration is releasing the names of the other finalists considered for the position. They are Megan Koepke and Claire Wilson.