Carlson previously served as Chief Health Policy Officer for the agency. Prior to joining DCH, he was Vice President of Government Relations with the Georgia Health Care Association and was the highest-ranking civilian in the Georgia Department of Defense as the Deputy Adjutant General. He has held numerous other roles where he led policy, budget and administrative functions within complex state government organizations.

Carlson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia. Read Governor Kemp's announcement on Commissioner's Carlson’s appointment to lead DCH.

Commissioner Carlson is supported by a team of executives that includes: 

  • Grant Thomas – Deputy Commissioner
  • Emily Yona – Senior Advisor 
  • Dr. Dean Burke – Chief Medical Officer
  • Joseph Hood – Chief Operating Officer
  • Marial Ellis – Chief of Staff
  • Lynnette Rhodes – Chief Health Policy Officer 
  • Chad Purcell – Chief Technology Officer
  • Melanie Simon, Esq. – General Counsel
  • Cody Whitlock – Chief Financial Officer
  • Brian Lipton – Strategic Finance Director
  • Daphanie Keit – Executive Director, Analytics and Program Improvement
  • Stacey Hillock – Designee for Agency Decisions
  • Brian Annino, Esq. – Commissioner's Designee and Ethics Officer
  • Stuart Portman - Executive Director, Medical Assistance Plans
  • Louis Amis – Executive Director, State Health Benefit Plan
  • Lisa Davies – Executive Director, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division
  • Joel Presley – Executive Director, State Office of Rural Health 
  • Sonja Allen-Smith – Inspector General
  • Karesha Laing – Interim Executive Director, Health Planning
  • Kelly Washington-Johnson – Senior Director, Human Resources 
  • Brandy Sylvan – Director, Government Relations 
  • David Graves – Director, Communications
  • Shawn Walker – Director, Project Management
  • Terry Conrad – Comptroller