Contact Us

Meet the Secretary

Cindy Gillespie

DHS Secretary Gillespie

Cindy Gillespie joined the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) in March 2016. In her capacity, she serves as a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. She is responsible for leadership and oversight of the department’s efforts, which support the health and well-being of all Arkansans, especially those who are most in need. Before joining DHS, Gillespie served as a Principal in the Washington D.C. office of Dentons’ Public Policy and Regulation practice and a leader of the firm’s Health Policy and Health Insurance Exchange Teams. Earlier, Gillespie served as a senior advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, where she led the Commonwealth of Massachusetts interactions with the federal government and oversaw development and implementation of the Administration’s executive branch initiatives, including playing a leading role in the development of Massachusetts health reforms. Prior to her government service in Massachusetts, Ms. Gillespie served as a senior executive for the not-for-profit Salt Lake Olympic Committee, responsible for hosting the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games and as a director at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the non-profit hosting the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She was recognized both nationally and internationally for her leadership in developing a unique public-private partnership between federal, state, local government and the organizing committees for staging the Games in the U.S. She is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, TN and has a Master's Degree from Auburn University in Alabama. She is a native of Columbus, Georgia.

Meet the Secretary's Staff

Deputy Director for Youth and Families

Deputy Director for Youth and Families Keesa Smith

Keesa M. Smith, serves as the Deputy Director for Youth and Families, overseeing all youth-related divisions. Before joining DHS, Keesa served as the Chairman of the Arkansas Board of Review after being appointed by Governor Mike Beebe in November 2011. Keesa previously served on Beebe’s communication and external affairs teams, as deputy legal counsel, liaison to the Public Service Commission, and State Implementation Director for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Governor Beebe. In this role, she was responsible for ensuring that the stimulus funds allocated to the State of Arkansas were used in accordance with the federal mandates. Keesa is the first African American woman to hold the position of Deputy Legal Counsel to the Governor of Arkansas. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she served as staff attorney for the Center of Arkansas Legal Services. Keesa earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in 2005. A North Carolina native, Keesa was named one of the 2013 Central Arkansas Heart Association Survivors and was one of Arkansas Business’ 40 under 40 in 2013. She is the mother of Afiya, a sophomore nursing major, and Keesa is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, where she serves as the Risk Management Chair for Beta Pi Omega chapter

Deputy Director for Health & Medicaid

Deputy Director for Health & Medicaid - Dawn Stehle

Dawn Stehle serves as the Deputy Director for Health & Medicaid. In this role, Dawn oversees the divisions of Aging, Adult & Behavioral Health Services, County Operations, Developmental Disabilities Services, Provider Services & Quality Assurance, and Medical Services. Prior to becoming Deputy Director in September 2016, Dawn served in several other positions during her tenure at DHS. She began her career at DHS in August 2006 as a Policy and Planning Fellow in the Director’s Office and subsequently served as a Policy Analyst, Senior Policy Analyst, and eventually the Director of Policy and Planning prior to transitioning into the Division of Medical Services in April 2012. She initially served as the Director of Health Care Innovation before becoming the Division Director. Prior to joining DHS, Dawn served in a variety of capacities within and outside the U.S. conducting research, providing technical assistance, and coordinating care and treatment for seniors, intellectually/developmentally disabled adults, and visually impaired consumers, among others. She has earned Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and social work, a Master of Public Service, and a Doctor of Public Health.

Chief of Business Operations

Chief of Business Operations Misty Bowen Eubanks

Misty Bowen Eubanks serves as the Chief of Business Operations for the Department. In this role, Misty reports to the DHS Secretary for the Department’s overall administrative and operations management with a focus on the offices of Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, Security and Compliance, and Payment Integrity and Audit. Misty has served in several other roles at DHS, including acting Chief Financial Officer, Chief Procurement Officer, DHS Privacy Officer, and supervising attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel specializing in child welfare, adult protective services, and agency administrative hearings.  Misty has litigated as a child welfare attorney representing DHS in the 7th West Judicial District. She also practiced privately, serving as a part-time attorney ad litem in dependency-neglect cases, representing juveniles in, and representing families in divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation cases. Misty earned her undergraduate degree from Hendrix College and her Juris Doctorate from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  In addition to her work at DHS, Misty has been a member of the Arkansas State CASA Advisory Board and was the 2013 section chair for the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Section of the Arkansas Bar Association.

Senior Adviser for Medicaid and Health Care Reform

Senior Adviser for Medicaid and Health Care Reform - Dennis Smith

Dennis G. Smith serves as the Senior Adviser for Medicaid and Health Care Reform and as a Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Public Health. For most of his career, Dennis has been in public service, in Arkansas, Wisconsin, Virginia, and California. At the federal level, he has worked in both the Executive and Legislative branches, including 10 years on Capitol Hill and more than 10 years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smith headed the Medicaid agency for nearly seven years, the longest tenure of any Medicaid Director at the federal level. In his capacity as head of Medicaid, he negotiated Section 1115 Demonstration Projects with more than half of the states. In Congress, Smith worked for both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives between 1989 and 1998. As a staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, he was involved in landmark legislation including welfare reform, the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Adoption and Safe Families Act.


Name Title Phone Email
Cindy Gillespie DHS Secretary

501-682-8650 Fax: 501-682-6836

Keesa Smith Deputy Director of Children & Youth


Dawn Stehle Deputy Director of Health & Medicaid Director


Misty Bowen Eubanks Chief of Business Operations


Amy Webb Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer


Mark White Chief Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer


Dennis Smith Special Adviser on Medicaid


Courtney Brown Assistant to the Secretary


Debbie Conway Assistant to the Deputy Director


Melissa Haney Assistant to the Communications and Business Officer


Dominique Parker Assistant to Legislative Affairs


Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

Google Map | Contact Us