Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families

Bryan Samuels

Bryan Samuels is the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF). Samuels has spent his career formulating service delivery innovations and streamlining operations in large government organizations on behalf of children, youth, and families.

Prior to joining the Administration, Samuels served as Chief of Staff for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) from 2007-2009, playing a leadership role in managing the operations of the third largest school system in the nation. From 2003 to 2007, Samuels served as the Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the third largest child welfare system in the country.

While Director, he moved aggressively to implement comprehensive assessments of all children entering care, redesigned transitional and independent living programs to prepare youth for transitioning to adulthood, created a child location unit to track all runaway youth, and introduced evidence-based services to address the impact of trauma and exposure to violence on children in state care.

At ACYF, Commissioner Samuels has made the social and emotional well-being of vulnerable children and youth his top priority.  He is aligning policies and funding to support healing and recovery for children and youth who have experienced trauma, with an emphasis on increasing access to evidence-based interventions.  Under his leadership, ACYF is leading a Department-wide initiative to strengthen management of psychotropic medications for children in foster care and expand the use of effective interventions.

Samuels has also taught at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.  He holds a Master's Degree from the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Notre Dame.