Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed Chad Poppell, his former Secretary of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), to the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council.
Poppell, who is currently the managing director of health and government solutions at the accounting firm KPMG US, left DCF just under a year ago after serving as Secretary for the first half of DeSantis’ term. Poppell also brought previous experience as Secretary of the Department of Management Services and chief of staff at the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Poppell had no previous experience in child protection before taking over at DCF. Despite controversies involving DCF before and during his tenure, Poppell received praise in his role, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From early months of the pandemic, DeSantis stressed mental health was an important part of the state’s COVID-19 response. After a June 2020 survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a spike in behavioral health symptoms among young adults, the Governor leaned on Poppell and his agency to react.
The Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council was set up to maximize the collaboration between faith-based and community organizations and state agencies. The goal is to strengthen communities, individuals and families by improving communication.
The council is tasked with providing annual recommendations to the Governor and Legislature that will encourage the government and the faith-based community to work together to improve social services for Floridians.
Poppell, of Tallahassee, graduated from Valdosta State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial and organization psychology.
At DCF, Poppell was replaced by the current Secretary, Shevaun Harris. Harris previously served as acting Secretary for the Agency for Health Care Administration, an agency where she had worked since 2005.