Date appointed: 1/4/10
Senate Committee hearing date: 1/26/11
Senate Committee hearing vote: Passed Committee vote
Senate vote date: January 31, 2011
Senate vote: Confirmed - Unanimously
"Reggie Bicha is a nationally-respected authority on human services with an impressive record in child welfare, strengthening families and building communities,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “We are delighted he is joining our team. Bicha brings great expertise in working with local government in a state system similar to what we have in Colorado."
Reggie Bicha was appointed the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services in 2011 by Governor John Hickenlooper. Director Bicha is a social worker, administrator, educator and national leader. He has extensive experience working on child welfare, education, employment and health issues at the county, state and national levels.
Director Bicha was elected as president of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) governing board and began his term on January 1, 2013. Director Bicha leads the nation’s top government executives on a bold new course to transform human services.
In February 2012, Director Bicha was selected as one of 20 leaders in the country to be in the inaugural class of the Ascend Fellowship sponsored by the prestigious Aspen Institute. The work of Ascend focuses on two-generation approaches to move children and parents beyond poverty.
Executive Director Bicha was recognized by Colorado Counties, Inc. with the 2011 Local/State Partnership Award for his leadership on reducing administrative burdens and unnecessary mandates. Under his direction, CDHS conducted the first-ever review of all promulgated administrative rules. As a result of this effort, the department is now revising or repealing more than 66% of their rules which were outdated, unnecessary or overly burdensome.
Prior to coming to Colorado, Director Bicha served as the Inaugural Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Under his leadership, Wisconsin increased the safety of child care programs, dramatically reduced fraud in the child care subsidy program and established a quality rating and improvement system to help child care professionals improve. He also initiated prevention and permanency objectives that reduced the number of children living in foster care by more than 22% in Milwaukee.
Director Bicha obtained a Masters’ degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
He and his wife, Becky, have three children, and have served as foster parents.
About the Department of Human Services:
The Department oversees the state’s 64 county departments of social/human services, the state’s public mental health system, Colorado’s system of services for people with developmental disabilities, the state’s juvenile corrections system and all state and veterans’ nursing homes, through more than 5,000 employees and thousands of community-based service providers. Colorado is a state-supervised, county-administered system for the traditional social services, including programs such as food stamps, disability services and child welfare services.