OCS DCL-2021-01 New OCS Director
Dear Colleague Letter
DATE: February 17, 2021
TO: All OCS Program Grantees
SUBJECT: New OCS Director — Dr. Lanikque Howard
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Lanikque Howard as the new Director in the Office of Community Services (OCS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF). As the OCS Director, she will provide leadership and oversight of over $6 billion in mandatory and discretionary grants through six social service and community development programs.
Dr. Howard served three years in the Obama Administration in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary supporting the development and implementation of ACF policy and cross-cutting initiatives. Prior to returning to ACF, Dr. Howard was the Senior Administrator for Programs at First 5 Alameda County, where she oversaw a number of strategic programs, initiatives, and partnerships aimed at addressing the causes and consequences of poverty, reducing racial disparities, and maximizing the potential of young children and their families. During her tenure, she oversaw First 5’s place-based initiatives, early care and education workforce development program, fatherhood and engagement strategies, concrete support programs, maternal and infant health strategies, and medical-legal partnerships.
Dr. Howard also worked at the Institute for Research on Poverty, where she provided technical assistance to county and state government agencies on a range of issues that impact the well-being of marginalized children, families, and communities, including co-leading the modification of statewide child welfare policy.
Dr. Howard received a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research focused on the interaction of human service programs and how uncoordinated policies and programs affect the well-being of dually served families.
Office of Community Services