Executive Management Bios
Juan Williams was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources by Governor Bill Lee. Prior to this appointment, he spent fourteen years at Duke Energy’s Piedmont Natural Gas Division in management positions in Human Resources, Utility Operations, and Change Readiness.
During his tenure at Duke Energy Nashville Resource Center, Juan advised managers, supervisors and employees on matters including operations and workplace culture. Previously, Juan served as the Director of Change Readiness with focuses on business process, systems and technology, talent management and restructuring.
He also led the Human Resources department with oversight over Employee Relations, Labor Relations, Talent Acquisition and Business Support functions. In addition to 20 years of human resources and 13 years of operations experience, Juan is an active member of the community and serves on the PENCIL Foundation Alumni Board of Directors, Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Board of Directors, and the National Association of State Personnel Executives, Vice-President.
Juan is a results-oriented energetic leader with a focus on excellence in communication and continuous learning.
Juan received a bachelor’s degree in business from North Carolina Wesleyan College and MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, NC.
Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel
Lesley T. Farmer serves as the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources. In her capacity, she oversees all legal issues within the Department, offering counsel and advice to her agency, other state agencies and individuals on employment law matters. In addition, all matters dealing with departmental operations, legislative affairs and media relations, employee relations, employee disciplinary appeals, mediation, workplace discrimination and harassment, quality assurance, records management, as well as the review of certain statewide employee transactions fall under her review.
Lesley previously served as the EEO Administrator and Deputy General Counsel for the Department. In this capacity, she offered advice and counsel to her agency and state agencies in the areas of employment law, ADA, FMLA, workplace discrimination, harassment, and investigations. Lesley has experience in state and federal civil rights laws, employment laws, and affirmative action.
Prior to joining the Department in February 2013, Lesley served as the Assistant General Counsel for Civil Rights for the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE). Her responsibilities in that role included investigating civil rights complaints within Tennessee public schools K-12 and employment issues within TDOE. She also provided training, legal advice and technical assistance to TDOE and Tennessee school officials on school law, employment law, and civil rights matters, including assistance in creating the Tennessee Bullying Prevention Program in schools. Prior to joining TDOE in April 2007, Ms. Farmer worked for a private law firm in Memphis, TN practicing in the areas of criminal defense, family law, personal injury and general civil litigation.
Lesley earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law. She is a graduate of Lead Tennessee, Tennessee Government Executive Institute, the Department of Human Resources Executive Leadership Institute, and the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law. She has also been trained as a Rule 31 Mediator.
Kim T. Yap
Assistant Commissioner and Chief Human Resources Business Partner
Kim Thau Yap serves as Assistant Commissioner and Chief HR Business Partner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR). This strategic position leads state HR professionals to shape the direction of enterprise-wide HR practices.
In his current work, Kim serves as the project lead for Strategic HR Service Delivery. This statewide initiative centralizes into DOHR the routine HR workload currently performed by agency HR teams, and increases the strategic capacity of the enterprise HR community. Strategic HR Service Delivery empowers agencies to increase focus on developing talent, including strategies for recruitment, retention, workforce development, and succession planning. These strategic HR functions are essential for agencies to develop the high performing workforce required to meet the state’s future needs. Kim also leads a team of HR professionals who provide daily HR services for DOHR, DGS, and nine other small agencies and commissions.
Kim joined DOHR in September 2015 as the Director of HR and Talent Management. Prior to joining the department, he served as Director of Human Resources for the Department of Children Services where he helped establish customer-focused HR operations as a value-added strategic business partner. Kim has nineteen years of HR management and related experience in the public and private sectors, including finance, engineering, and manufacturing. He is known for coaching leaders at all levels to manage employee relations with integrity as a method to achieve sustained business results.
Kim earned a Master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Western Kentucky University. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a clinical focus from the University of Central Florida. He is an alumnus of the Young Leader’s Council Nashville, LEAD Tennessee, and the state’s HR Master Series.
Coretta Young serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR). In her role, she provides strategic oversight and direction to the State of Tennessee’s Diversity and Equity and Employee Relations initiatives. As a state-wide leader of diversity and equity, she provides direction and support to the enterprise’s diversity strategy to attract, hire, and maintain a diverse workplace that reflects the State of Tennessee at all levels. With overall responsibility for employee engagement and employee relations policies, processes, and services, a critical aspect of her role is strengthening relationships and opening communication with employees across the enterprise. She oversees several enterprise employee programs including the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program, exit surveys, service awards, suggestion awards, the annual charitable campaign, sick leave bank, and employee discounts. Coretta is also responsible for administering Tennessee’s performance management system which facilitates dialogue between employees at every level and their supervisors for job feedback, coaching and individual training and development to maximize the achievement of strategic and operational business goals.
Prior to joining DOHR in 2016, Coretta served as the Director of Human Resources for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) where she oversaw employee relations, performance management, and workforce planning. She has over 25 years of experience in the areas of human resources, training and development, and continuous quality improvement.
Coretta is a Rule 31 Trained Mediator, a DOHR Certified Facilitator and a graduate of Tennessee’s leadership programs: Tennessee Government Executive Institute, LEAD Tennessee, and HR Master Program. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Service Management from Cumberland University and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
Craig Raymer currently serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR). Prior to being appointed Assistant Commissioner, he served on DOHR’s Senior Leadership Team as the HR Business Solutions Administrator.
As the Assistant Commissioner, Craig provides leadership and oversight to DOHR’s HR Business Solutions and Recruiting Divisions. The HR Business Solutions Division delivers human capital management strategy as well as transactional support to multiple state agencies through HR Business Partners and their teams. The Recruiting Division is charged with leading enterprise-wide recruiting initiatives as well as developing innovative, strategic solutions to recruit Top Talent to the State of Tennessee’s workforce.
Craig spent over 15 years working in the private sector prior to joining Tennessee State Government having served in various management and HR related roles. He began his career in Tennessee State Government in 2005 on the frontlines as a Case Manager with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS). Prior to transitioning into the area of HR with the State of Tennessee, he held various roles related to direct service delivery with DCS. In addition to DCS and DOHR, Craig worked with the Tennessee Department of Correction where he served as an Employee Relations Manager and Assistant Director of HR. In March 2019, Craig came to DOHR from DCS where he had served as DCS Field Services HR Director, Director of Internal Affairs, and Executive Director of HR.
Craig graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and received his Master’s degree in Public Service Management from Cumberland University. He is a graduate of Tennessee Government Executive Institute, HR Master’s Series, and LEAD Tennessee. Craig serves as a mediator in the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program and holds the designations of PHR from the Human Resources Certification Institute and IPMA-SCP from the Public Sector HR Association.