Marta Miranda-Straub, Spalding social work adjunct faculty, named state Commissioner of Dept. of Community Based Services

Steve Jones

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Eric Friedlander announced Wednesday, June 17 that Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed Marta Miranda-Straub – an adjunct faculty member in the Spalding School of Social Work – to be the new Commissioner of the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS).

DCBS is the state’s human services agency with more than 4,400 employees throughout the state. DCBS administers the state’s food benefits, child care and welfare assistance, child and adult protection programs, foster and adoption program and Medicaid eligibility determinations.

Miranda-Straub, formerly the leader of The Center of Women and Families in Louisville, will begin her DCBS appointment on July 1.

At Spalding, she has taught practice, policy and addiction courses in the School of Social Work at both the graduate and undergraduate levels as well as leadership continuing education courses. In 2019, she helped lead the School of Social Work’s first social justice conference. She was set to be a panelist for this year’s conference before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Working with the committed students and the outstanding faculty at the School of Social Work has been the perfect opportunity to be reminded that I am a teacher of social justice at heart always,” Miranda-Straub said. “I am humbled and energized by this new opportunity to ensure the most vulnerable among us are lifted and served in ways that lead to healing and inclusion.”

Spalding School of Social Work Chair Dr. Shannon Cambron congratulated Miranda-Straub on her appointment and praised Beshear for selecting her to lead DCBS.

“The appointment of Marta Miranda-Straub reflects the Governor’s continued commitment to changing the status quo by choosing a proven leader who daily lives out her commitment to equity and social justice,” Cambron said. “Her track record speaks for itself, and I am excited to have an exemplary social worker leading this critical work for our state.

“Having Marta as a part of the social work faculty has been such an incredible asset to our students and our team. We look forward to supporting Marta and all the amazing social workers throughout the state as we write this new chapter of change.”

From 2011 to 2018, she served as President/CEO of The Center for Women and Families, a $6 million dollar nonprofit that served more than 8,000 clients each year with rape crisis and domestic violence services for survivors and their children.

Miranda-Straub is the founder of Catapult Now LLC consulting firm, providing organizational and leadership development, board development, strategic planning, executive coaching, retreats, facilitation and training services to non-profit and for profit organization with a focus on equity and inclusion.

“Marta has served families and children through trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault intervention, and gender equity and anti-racism activism. Her professional goal for 40 years has been to make people’s lives better,” Beshear said. “She understands the importance of human service professionals and what a difference their support can make for the welfare of Kentucky children, adults and families. She is a valuable addition to Team Kentucky.”