State Director - South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Columbia, SC

Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2017


The Commission of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the governing board of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) in Columbia, SC, seeks qualified applicants for the position of the DDSN State Director. As agency head, the State Director is responsible for the direction and leadership of the South Carolina state-wide system of service delivery and programs for South Carolinians with severe lifelong disabilities of intellectual and related developmental disabilities; autism; traumatic brain injury; spinal cord injury; and conditions related to each of these four categories of disabilities.

The State Director administers an annual budget of $700 million supporting over 40,855 eligible persons and their families. DDSN serves individuals living at home with their families (87%), and individuals with the most severe disabilities and complex needs requiring 24-hour care (13%) are served in contracted community residential settings or in one of five state DDSN operated regional centers. The State Director will lead 170 Central Office staff and 1500 employees providing direct care in DDSN regional centers.

The successful applicant must have, as a minimum, a Master's degree plus ten (10) years of senior leadership experience. The degree must be in a discipline applicable to leadership and management of disabilities services. The preferred candidate will have a Doctorate degree plus ten (10) years of senior leadership experience and a knowledge of best practices in a service delivery system responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities and their families.

Additional qualifications include:

•   Demonstrated leadership skills;
•   Demonstrated ability to adjust a large organization's structure and culture to meet changing 
    budgetary, regulatory, and consumer needs;
•   Demonstrated managerial experience involving large, complex organizations and systems;
•   Strong communication and negotiation skills;
•   Proficiency in crisis management;
•   Capacity for critical thinking to assess policy options and feasibility in a complex context, in 
    particular the impact on persons the agency serves; and
•   Demonstration of prior positive working relations with parents, consumers, and advocacy groups.

Benefits include a negotiated salary range of $150,996 - $234,073 (midpoint $191,863); health, life, and dental insurance; a liberal leave and holiday policy; and a pleasant and reasonable cost of living environment in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Columbia is situated in the Midlands of South Carolina with the mountains and beach within approximately two hours distance.

DDSN is "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." All applications will be treated confidentially.

Qualified persons may apply for this position (#6008180) online at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Deirdre Blake-Sayers, Director of Human Resources
SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
3440 Harden Street Extension, P.O. Box 4706
Columbia, South Carolina 29240
Email:; phone: 803/898-9600