DCF Executive Team

The Executive Team is appointed by Wisconsin's governor and has the day-to-day tasks of managing the Department of Children and Families, as well as determining our agency's future direction.

Our Executive Team welcomes the opportunity to speak at conferences and meet with partners, stakeholders, and other interested parties across the state. To request a member of our Executive Team, please complete this form in its entirety. 

Secretary Emilie Amundson

Headshot of Secretary Emilie Amundson

Emilie Amundson was appointed secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) by Governor Tony Evers in January 2019. She was confirmed by the Senate in 2020 and reconfirmed in 2023. 

As the head of DCF, Secretary Amundson is responsible for statewide and county administered programs that assist children and families, including child welfare, early care and education, and child support.

Since joining DCF, Secretary Amundson has successfully led the department in transforming the state’s child welfare system; stabilizing and growing the early care and education field; and building stronger, innovative partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels.

Prior to her appointment to DCF, Secretary Amundson served as the chief of staff at the Department of Public Instruction where she advanced multiple statewide and cross-agency efforts related to K-12 public education.  

Secretary Amundson received her undergraduate degree from UW-Madison, her Master of Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Literacy Studies at UW-Madison. She is the proud spouse of a teacher and the proud mom of two school-aged children. 

Deputy Secretary Jeff Pertl

Headshot of Deputy Secretary Jeff Pertl

Deputy Secretary Jeff Pertl spent the last decade as the Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Public Instruction, working on issues around early childhood education, school finance, and closing the achievement gap. He was the liaison to the Department of Children and Families and in that role worked collaboratively on early childhood and family policy issues.

Jeff was a long-time county supervisor and possesses a wealth of experience in local government financial, personnel, and human services issues. Additionally, he served for several years on the Wisconsin Counties Association board of directors, working on statewide issues like youth justice reform, child welfare funding, and early childhood education access.

As a child of divorced parents, Jeff experienced firsthand the vital role child support has in creating a positive, stable family environment. As an adult, he and his wife have been licensed foster parents and their two boys, Marcus and Matthew, were adopted at birth in Wisconsin.

Assistant Secretary Nadya Perez-Reyes

Headshot of Assistant Secretary Nadya Perez-Reyes

Nadya Pérez-Reyes previously worked as an attorney with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Juvenile and Mental Health Office, where she represented children in delinquency, waiver, children in need of protection or services (CHIPS), juvenile in need of protection or services (JIPS) proceedings and parents in termination of parental rights (TPR) cases.  Nadya also worked in the State Public Defender’s Washington and Ozaukee County Trial offices, representing both adults and children. Before joining the Wisconsin State Public Defender, she worked at Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Government Accountability Board (now the State Elections Board).

Nadya has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Spanish Language and Literature, and Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies; a Master of Arts in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies with an emphasis on the African Diaspora; and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nadya loves to travel and on her last trips visited Puerto Rico in September (unexpectedly during Hurricane Fiona) and January.