Kemp names Kevin Tanner as next DBHDD commissioner, to start Dec. 16

He chairs commission reviewing Georgia’s behavioral health system

Gov. Brian Kemp announced today that former State Rep. Kevin Tanner will be the next leader of the department that serves Georgians with disabilities and mental illness.

Tanner will serve as commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, starting on Dec. 16th, following Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald’s retirement in November. Monica Johnson, the director of the Division of Behavioral Health, will serve as interim commissioner.

“Kevin Tanner is a capable and dedicated leader who has made significant contributions to both the state and his community over more than three decades of public service,” Kemp said in a statement. “It is thanks to his forward-thinking approach as head of the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission that Georgia is now implementing meaningful improvements in how we address mental health. The Department will be in good hands under his leadership.”

Tanner now serves as the county manager of Forsyth and is the chair of the Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission, which is conducting a comprehensive review of the behavioral health system of care in Georgia. Previously, Tanner served four terms as a state representative for District 9. Before that he was the Dawson County manager.

DBHDD operates state hospitals and provides community-based services for people with mental illness, substance use disorders, or intellectual and developmental disabilities. The department functions as the state’s safety net and is primarily responsible for serving residents who are uninsured, as well as those who are on Medicaid.

Kemp also announced that Commissioner Robyn Crittenden will be resigning as head of the Department of Revenue on Nov. 25 to take a job in the private sector. Deputy State Revenue Commissioner Frank O’Connell will serve as interim commissioner until a new commissioner is appointed.

“Over the past two decades, Robyn has ably led three state agencies and served as the 28th secretary of state,” Kemp said in a statement. “As the first African American woman to serve as a statewide constitutional officer in Georgia — along with her many other achievements — Robyn has both made history and made our state better.”