Secretary Jilma Meneses names Tonik Joseph Assistant Secretary for agency’s Developmental Disabilities Administration

Photo of Dr. Tonik Joseph, Assistant Secretary of the DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration.
Dr. Tonik Joseph is the Assistant Secretary of the DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Secretary Jilma Meneses announced today she has named Dr. Tonik Joseph to the position of Assistant Secretary for the agency’s Developmental Disabilities Administration, effective Nov. 1. Joseph has served in an interim role in the position since March 2023.

“Dr. Joseph’s credentials are outstanding, with a wide range of education and experience ranging from undergraduate degrees in economics and chemistry, a Master of Science and a doctorate in biochemistry as well as her work as DDA’s Director of Strategic Planning and Quality Compliance Monitoring, Enterprise Risk Management’s Senior Risk Manager and Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Behavioral Health Administration,” said Meneses. “Her compassion and dedication to our clients are indicative of a true servant leader, as is her service to military members and their families, as a community volunteer and a civilian professional working for the U.S. Department of Defense. I know she will continue working to ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers throughout Washington state have the services and supports they need to live their lives how and where they want to live.”

The rigorous hiring process included two interview committees, which comprised community advocates, DSHS officials, agency colleagues, legislators, union representatives, officials and clients. The process started by gathering with community stakeholders, advocacy groups, clients with lived experience, families of clients, staff, and many others in order to understand how to best meet the needs of our clients and their families. A national recruitment led to the search committees’ eventual selection of the top two finalists from a pool of highly qualified individuals.