Hamline News

Hamline professor appointed Commissioner


Hamline University School of Law is proud to announce that its Health Law Institute director, Lucinda Jesson, has been appointed by Governor Mark Dayton as Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Human Services. She will begin her duties with the state on January 13.

“On behalf of Hamline University, I am very pleased to congratulate Professor Lucinda Jesson on her appointment to Governor Dayton’s administration,” said Hamline University President Linda Hanson. “Her extraordinary work as director of our Health Law Institute created a hub for the health care policy community in the Twin Cities and elsewhere in the Upper Midwest. As a professor in our School of Law, she has guided the next generation of legal minds in the areas of health care organization and finance, food and drug law, and health care compliance. I thank Cindy for her tremendous contribution to Hamline University, and I am confident she will be a vital asset to Governor Dayton’s team and to the state of Minnesota.”

Jesson’s role as Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Human Services is a cabinet level position. The department has responsibility for Minnesota's health care and economic assistance programs, child welfare, services for seniors and people with disabilities, sex offender treatment, and licensing of service providers.

“While I will miss my Hamline students and colleagues, I am excited by the opportunity to put into practice what we teach here at Hamline University,” Jesson said, of her new role.

Jesson is the founding director of the Health Law Institute at Hamline University School of Law, which was established in 2006 to bridge gaps between health law scholarship and policy through engagement, collaboration, and innovation; to serve as a regional forum for addressing issues in health law and policy; and to provide programs, training, and educational opportunities for future health law leaders. The Health Law Institute has earned Hamline a national reputation in health law—recently ranked as one of the top 20 health law programs by U. S. News & World Report.

“Cindy’s appointment reflects the Hamline School of Law’s long-standing tradition of leadership in the public interest,” said Hamline law dean Donald Lewis. “We are honored that one of our own will play a central role in the Dayton administration, particularly in the critical area of health care reform.”

Jesson joined Hamline in 2006 as an associate professor of law and director of the Health Law Institute. Prior to that, she represented individuals, hospitals, clinics and health care professionals through her practice, Jesson & Pust, P.A. She also served as a frequent arbitrator and hearing officer in health care disputes. Previously, she served as Chief Deputy Hennepin County Attorney, Minnesota Deputy Attorney General responsible for Health and Licensing, and as a partner with the law firm of Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly LLP. Jesson earned her BA from the University of Arkansas and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1983.