Leadership


virginia-pryorInterim Division Director

Ms. Pryor has over 27 years of experience in child welfare and social policy. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Strategic Consulting with Casey Family Programs in Seattle, Washington. Ms. Pryor continued her commitment to children and families during her tenure with Casey Family Programs (CFP). Her work with CFP spans over 11 years having been responsible for the launching and implementation of Family Group Conferencing throughout the Casey Field Offices, serving as Chair of National Foster Care Month and being a point person for several key national relationships.

Ms. Pryor is currently the Division Chief of Staff for DFCS and provides vision, leadership and strategic direction for all programmatic operations responsible for serving children and families across the state. Prior to assuming this role, she served for the past two and a half years as the Division’s Deputy Director of Child Welfare. In addition, she is responsible for leading the state’s reform effort — the Blueprint for Change — which focuses on three key platforms: Robust Workforce Development, a Practice Model and Constituent Engagement.

Chief Operating Officer Ashley Fielding Cooper

Mrs. Fielding Cooper was appointed as Chief Operating Officer for DFCS on July 1 and will oversee all administrative support functions in the Division, including budget, legislative affairs, communications, general counsel and strategic outreach. She previously served as the director for the Department of Human Services’ Office of Legislative Affairs and Communications. During Ms. Cooper’s tenure at DHS, she advised Department leadership on legislative policy issues and educated state lawmakers on the impact of legislation on the administration of child welfare, economic assistance, child support and aging services in Georgia. She has successfully worked with members of the General Assembly on efforts to further protect children from abuse and neglect. Also in her role as director of OLAC, Ms. Cooper ensured transparency with the public and managed the Department’s relationships with key stakeholders in the media, as well as with nonprofits and the faith community.

Deputy Division Director for Child Welfare Jeff Lukich

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Lukich has served families in Georgia for the past 28 years. He began his career with the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in 1989. Though his experience is in both Economic Support (OFI) and Child Welfare, the vast majority of his experience has been in social services and child welfare – including child protective services, adult protective services, foster care and adoptions. Mr. Lukich has served in many capacities within DFCS over the years, including child welfare case manager, supervisor, social services consultant and deputy county director. Additionally, he served as a county director for nearly 10 years in multiple counties, including Athens-Clarke County.

Mr. Lukich served as the Regional Director in Northwest Georgia (Region 1) from 2008 to 2013. In 2013, Mr. Lukich was appointed as the State Director of Field Operations. He served in that role until July 2017 when he was appointed to Deputy Division Director for Child Welfare. Mr. Lukich oversees the work of nearly 4,000 staff and is responsible for the quality and delivery of all child welfare programs both in the field and at the state office.