Beverly “BJ” Walker

Beverly "BJ" Walker

President & Founder

BJ Walker offers passion, leadership and management experience from over 40 years of work in human services and education.  She has successfully led reform efforts in state and local government and played key roles in promoting and supporting change and innovation in both the private and not for profit sectors.

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Personal Statement

Over a 40-year career, BJ has been a change agent in education and human services. A public official since 1995, she has served in the administrations of Governors in Georgia and Illinois and the Mayor of the City of Chicago, managing portfolios that at times included child welfare, public health, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, TANF, childcare, SNAP, Medicaid eligibility, aging, and child support. At Deloitte Consulting LLP, she served for five years as a Managing Director in their public sector practice. Her child welfare work in Georgia was featured in Franklin Covey’s 2012 book, The Four Disciplines of Execution. She now manages a consulting practice, In the Public Way, Inc. which serves as a platform for supporting change management efforts focused on major public sector issues. In 1993, BJ Walker was awarded a prestigious yearlong resident Fellowship with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. BJ has an MA degree in American History from Northwestern University and a BA in Religion from Mt Holyoke College.  She has served as a board member for over 15 years with The National Algebra Project.  In 2019, she joined the board of Stewards of Change Institute, based in Washington, DC.

Major Work in the Public Way

Work Experience

Acting Director

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

2017-2019

Stepped in to serve for 18 months as acting director for the state’s child welfare agency.

Managing Director in Public Sector Practice

Deloitte Consulting LLP 

2012-2017

Worked as subject matter expert and senior advisor across Deloitte’s extensive Human Services portfolio.

Commissioner

Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR)

2004-2011

Managed a massive State agency which included Child Welfare, Child Support, TANF, SNAP, Medicaid Eligibility, Aging, Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities  and Public Health with a budget of $3.4B and 20,000 staff.

Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley

City of Chicago

1999-2004

Lead several major mayoral initiatives in human services and education.

Major Accomplishments

Transformation in the state of Georgia’s Department of Human Resources (DHR) 

Under BJ’s watch, a number of key indicators at DHR made significant progress: 

  • Reductions in recurrence of child maltreatment (from 9% to 3 – below national standard of 5.4%)  
  • Reductions in the foster care reentry rate to 3% — national average was 8.6%  
  • Reductions in agency motor vehicle accidents by 73%, netting a $1.5M/year reduction in insurance premiums  
  • Increases in key child support measures that moved the State from a national ranking of 47th to 31st in just two years  

Leadership in the state of Illinois 

Served as the State’s welfare reform leader and managed the staff and offices responsible for delivering TANF, Food Stamps and Medicaid eligibility.  Under her leadership, IL was twice able to earn federal high-performance bonuses totaling over $38M.

The City of Chicago

Among all of the work done as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley, the most notable was aiding the First Lady in launching After School Matters, expanding out-of-school time programming for thousands of Chicago teens living in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.