Brad Turner was appointed in January 2019 by Gov. Bill Lee as the commissioner of the Department of Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities. He is the third person to serve in that role since DIDD became a standalone agency in 2011. In December 2023, Commissioner Turner was again tapped by Gov. Bill Lee to also be the executive director for the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
In his role as commissioner and executive director, Turner oversees nearly 2000 employees responsible for administration and oversight of services and supports for approximately 25,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the home and community-based waiver programs, Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), Katie Beckett Program, MAPs Program, and Family Support Program. Turner also has responsibility for the
administration and oversight of services and supports for the nearly 1.7 million Tennesseans over the age of 60. Some of those programs include CHOICES, State Health Insurance Assistance program (SHIP), home and community-based programs, nutrition services, caregiver support, transportation assistance, and public guardianship.
Under Turner’s leadership, DIDD launched the Tennessee Believes program to expand inclusive higher education opportunities across the state and the TN START Assessment and Stabilization Teams to increase support to persons with disabilities who have a co-occurring mental health diagnosis. In addition, the department has been recognized nationally for its innovation in Employment First and Enabling Technology to promote full access, inclusion, and independence for
people with disabilities. The department has also been recognized as the first state service delivery system to receive Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership.
Turner also sits on the National Association of State Director of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) National board of directors. He’s the first person from Tennessee to receive this honor.
As the father of a daughter with intellectual and developmental disabilities and parents who are aging, Commissioner Turner is passionate about advocating alongside people with disabilities, older Tennesseans, and their families for a brighter future in the Volunteer state.
Prior to joining DIDD, Turner was the Director of Client Services at HealthStream Inc. and served as a Rutherford County Commissioner for eight years.
Turner, his wife Rebecca, and daughter Kinsley are proud to call Smyrna home.