In July of 2004, Dennis E. González was appointed the Executive Officer (Deputy Regional Director) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Region II (encompassing New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Tribes).
Dennis has been serving as Acting Regional Director since January 12, 2017. His first tenure as Acting Regional Director was from January 2009 to May 2010. During that time, Dennis served as the Secretary’s representative in the region and was responsible for coordinating the Department’s regional implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and HHS’ regional response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. More recently, Dennis served on the leadership team of the Puerto Rico Zika Unified Coordination Group (UCG) and directed all the intergovernmental activities of the UCG as it responded to the Zika crisis on the island.
Prior to joining the Department of Health and Human Services, Dennis held a number of senior level positions at the state and county levels in New Jersey, including serving as Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs and as Executive Director of all the mental and behavior health boards in New Jersey, where he supervised the creation of the NJ Alcohol and Drug Counselors Committee. In addition, Dennis served as a member of the New Jersey State Health Planning Board and was Vice President of Community and Governmental Affairs at Barnert Hospital in Paterson, NJ. Recently, Dennis served as regional chairman of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Dennis also has a long history of community advocacy, including serving on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission; Housing Authority Commissioner in both Paterson, NJ and Union City, NJ; the Passaic County Youth Services Commission; the National Puerto Rican Coalition and the Boy Scouts of America; among many other non-profit organizations.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Dennis was raised in Puerto Rico. He began his public service career thirty (30) years ago as an aide to the governor of Puerto Rico. Since then, he has served in the administrations of three New Jersey governors and under the leadership of four secretaries of Health and Human Services.