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Commission Member

  • Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter
    Tennessee Department of Human Services
    Nashville, TN
    Term of Appointment: January 15, 2011 — Coterminous with the term of the appointing Governor


Dr. Hatter has dedicated more than 20 years of her life to serving adults, children, and families. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for administering more than 20 types of services throughout Tennessee, including Families First, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid/TennCare, Child Support, Child Care, Adult Protective Services, and Rehabilitation Services. DHS has more than 120 office locations, a budget of $3 billion, and approximately 5,400 employees.


Dr. Hatter's work has focused on vulnerable and economically disadvantaged individuals. Throughout her journey she has served in many roles, including frontline practitioner, therapist, outreach worker, program director, VP/Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. She has done this work across systems including Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare, Mental Health, and Human Services. She has done extensive work in supporting positive and effective public-private partnerships on behalf of adults, children, and families at a state and national level. Some of this work has included chairing statewide committees focused on these efforts, partnering with state government to revise licensing and contractual rules, and partnering with state government to revise mental health rules concerning youth with mental illness.


As an administrator and executive, her areas of focus include: transformational organizational change, fiscal stewardship, strategic management, staff development, accountability, positive outcomes, cultural sensitivity, and public policy. She plays an integral role in the Systems of Care efforts across the nation in partnership with families, youth, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), public and private providers, and other key stakeholders. She has co-presented on panels with several families and youth from across the country that have interfaced with various systems of care. The focus of this work has been on creating real partnerships with families and youth served by public and private providers with emphasis on true empowerment, respect, cultural and linguistic competence, and results.


In 2004 and 2005, she spent time doing work focused on indigenous economically disadvantaged communities in the Northern Territory of Australia and throughout. She has also served as an adjunct instructor for the University of Michigan, Nashville State, and Tennessee State University. She has published articles in international journals on Transformational Organizational Change and served on many boards, committees, and task forces focused on human services.


Dr. Hatter holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Community Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University, and a Doctorate of Education in Child, Youth, and Family Studies with a specialization in Management of Programs from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Hatter has received various awards and honors including: the Middle Tennessee Advocate of the Year Award from the Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare (TCSW); the Advocate of the Year Award from the Women's Business Council; and the Pan Hellenic Outstanding Business Leader Award. The Dr. Raquel Hatter Scholarship Fund was established in honor of her service to children and youth in Michigan. In addition, she received both a letter of recognition from the Governor of Michigan and a Mayoral Proclamation for her service to children and families.


Dr. Hatter is the wife of Andre Hatter, an accountant, and she is the mother of two young adults, Delano and Tiara. She overcame thyroid cancer as a teen and is a survivor of child sexual abuse. She is also a woman of faith and has filled various service roles in the ministry.



400 Deaderick Street, 15th Floor
Nashville TN 37243-1403