Organization, Leadership & Staff

Region 5 Regional AdministratorIn his twenty-five years with the Department of Health and Human Services, Kent Wilcox has served in senior regional management positions in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Family Support Administration and the Office of Child Support Enforcement.  His management experience spans the breadth of ACF programs, both State and Community based, and all of its Initiatives. He represents the Department on the Federal Regional Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Federal Executive Board’s Task Force on Veterans Issues.

After positions in the fields of law enforcement and housing and community development, Kent Wilcox began a career in child support enforcement as an attorney with the Indiana Child Support Division in 1978 and became the State Director in 1982.  He left Indiana in 1983 for the Chicago Regional Office where he first served as Deputy Regional Representative, then as Regional Representative of the Office of Child Support Enforcement. 

When the Administration for Children and Families was created in 1991, Mr. Wilcox was appointed as Director of the Office of Community Programs.  In that capacity, he was responsible for the Federal government’s regional efforts in the Head Start Program.  In 1997, he was given responsibility for the Office of Self-Sufficiency Programs where he oversaw the Region’s Child Welfare, Child Support, Family Independence (TANF) and Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs.  Mr. Wilcox was appointed Deputy Regional Administrator in 2007, and Regional Administrator in 2008. 

Kent, a native of Chicago, was raised in South Bend, Indiana which he calls his hometown; he   holds a bachelors and a law degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.  He is a member of the Indiana and Florida Bars. 



The Office of the Regional Administrator (ORA) is responsible for executing ACF’s key national goals and priorities in our six-state area. The Regional Administrator provides executive leadership and direction to state, county, city, territorial and tribal governments, as well as to other public and private local grantees to ensure effective and efficient program and financial management.

The Regional Administrator, Kent Wilcox, reports to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families through the Director of the Office of Regional Operations.

Under Mr. Wilcox’s direction, the Office of the Regional Administrator (ORA):

  • Takes action to approve state plans and submits its recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families concerning state plan disapproval
  • Contributes to the development of national policy based on regional perspectives for all ACF programs
  • Oversees ACF operations and the management of ACF regional staff
  • Coordinates activities across regional programs
  • Coordinates regional initiatives and operations and assures that goals and objectives are carried out
  • Alerts the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families to problems and issues that may have significant regional or national impact

In addition ORA represents ACF at the regional level in executive communications within ACF, with the HHS Regional Director, other HHS operating divisions, other federal agencies and public or private local organizations representing children and families.