Created by the Governor and General Assembly in 2009, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and its network of community providers offer treatment and support services to help people with behavioral health challenges achieve recovery by focusing on their strengths. Through uniquely tailored supports and services, we help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities attain independence and lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Kevin Tanner, Commissioner of DBHDD

Kevin Tanner


Kevin Tanner serves as the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Ashley Fielding

Ashley Fielding

Assistant Commissioner

Ashley Fielding is the Assistant Commissioner for Agency Affairs. She oversees the departments offices of Human Resources and Learning, Legal Services, Public Affairs, and Legislative Affairs.

Jeff Minor headshot

Jeff Minor

Deputy Commissioner

Jeff Minor has served as deputy commissioner of DBHDD since 2012.  In this capacity, he serves in a consultative role to the Commissioner.

Brenda K. Woordard

Brenda Woodard

General Counsel

Brenda King Woodard serves as DBHDD’s General Counsel. The Office of General Counsel provides legal advice and support to the Commissioner, DBHDD divisions and offices, the DBHDD Board, and DBHDD-related boards and councils. 

Dr. Emile Risby headshot

Emile Risby, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer and Director, Division of Hospital Services

Dr. Risby joined DBHDD as chief medical officer in August 2011.  His role expanded to include director of hospital services in June 2013. 

Dr. Madhu Gundlapalli

Madhu Gundlapalli, M.D.

Deputy Medical Director, Division of Hospital Services

Dr. Gundlapalli joined the DBHDD team in October 2019.  In her role, she supports the hospital system and the Divisions of Behavioral Health and IDD. She also serves as Acting Clinical Director for Central State Hospital from 2021.

Chris Hamilton headshot

Chris Hamilton

Chief Financial Officer

Christopher joined the DBHDD Budget & Finance team in December of 2008 and stepped into the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2022.

Ron Wakefield headshot

Ron Wakefield

Director, Division of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

Ronald Wakefield began working with the intellectual and developmental disability community in 1982 for a program administered by Temple University in Pennsylvania.

Melissa Sperbeck

Melissa Sperbeck

Director, Division of Strategy, Technology, and Performance

Melissa Sperbeck is the Director of the Division of Strategy, Technology, and Performance. She oversees several enterprise offices including the Offices of Information Technology, Incident Management and Compliance, Investigations, Performance Analysis and Quality Improvement, Medicaid Coordination and Health System Innovation, Provider Relations, and the oversight of the Administrative Services Organization.

Jason McSwain

Jason McSwain

Chief Information Officer and Director, Office of Information Technology

Jason McSwain serves as the Director of DBHDD’s Office of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.  In this role, he oversees the technological infrastructure and works to implement a strategic vision for information technology and computer systems, which are supportive of DBHDD’s organizational objectives, mission, and vision. 

Greg Hoyt

Greg Hoyt

Director, Office of Hospital Operations

Greg Hoyt joined DBHDD when it was the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Addictive Diseases under the former Department of Human Resources team in April 2000 as the regional coordinator for the West Central area of Georgia.

David Sofferin headshot

David Sofferin

Director, Office of Public Affairs

David is the director of the Office of Public Affairs which oversees the DBHDD Office of Constituent Services. He also oversees the DBHDD Board and the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council (BHCC).

Mark Green, Director of Human Resources and Learning

Mark Green

Director, Office of Human Resources and Learning

H. Mark Green is director of DBHDD’s Office of Human Resources and Learning.