Executive Leadership Team
Ms. Kapusta has worked in Florida’s child welfare system for 17 years. Prior to becoming interim secretary, she most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of Operations, responsible for managing the department’s regional program operations across the state, as well as Adult Protective Services and Children’s Legal Services. In this role, Ms. Kapusta implemented quality measures for each department program to continue to improve the services provided by the department. She previously served as the department’s general counsel where she represented the agency before the Florida Supreme Court and streamlined legal operations in each circuit.
Ms. Kapusta has also served the department in Children’s Legal Services, as assistant general counsel, and assistant regional counsel in the department’s 11-county SunCoast Region. Prior to her employment with the Department of Children and Families, Ms. Kapusta served as a General Magistrate in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and maintained her own practice.
Ms. Kapusta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Central Florida and a law degree from Stetson University College of Law.
Dr. David Fairbanks
Dr. David Fairbanks is Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. He has 14 years of experience with the department including as Assistant Secretary for Programs, Director of Provider Relations, Assistant Director of Community-Based Care¸ Director of Mission Support and Performance, and Chief of Children’s Mental Health.
He has worked in several states as an independent consultant on child welfare, mental health and education systems reform efforts. Dr. Fairbanks earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University and his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Psychology from Florida State University. With Leon County Schools, he served as a teacher and School Director. He also was an Assistant Professor of School Psychology at State University of New York.
Publications include “School-Related Services and Medicaid: A Florida Handbook” and “Working Smarter in a Shared Service Network: A Resource and Planning Guide” published by the Florida Department of Education, as well as numerous technical reports on systems of care, family services, case planning and program development.
David is married to Terri Eggers who formerly worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Education. Together, they have four children, two grandchildren and one foster grandchild.
Chief of Staff
Jessica Sims joined the Florida Department of Children and Families as Communications Director in October 2015. Prior to joining the department she served as Press Secretary for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity as the primary spokesperson for television, radio and print media. She previously served as the Public Information Specialist for the Florida Division of Emergency Management and as the Information Director for the Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from Florida State University.
Assistant Secretary for Administration
Scott Stewart was previously the agency’s Chief Information Officer, responsible for overseeing information technology systems and coordinating data sharing between state and federal agencies and among our employees and partners. Previously, Scott served as Chief Information Officer for the Agency for Workforce Innovation and worked as an IT director and officer for the Florida Department of Corrections, the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation and other state agencies. Scott also brings private sector expertise from working with Walt Disney World and Scotty’s. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida Southern College in Lakeland and his Master of Business Administration from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale.
Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare
JoShonda Guerrier was appointed Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare for the Florida Department of Children and Families in April 2016. A certified public manager with more than two decades of social services experience, JoShonda leads with integrity, personal and collegial accountability, and a commitment to excellence.
Only the second person to hold the Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare position since the Legislature created it in 2014, JoShonda leads the Department’s Office of Child Welfare. This role’s responsibilities include statewide policy development for the Florida Abuse Hotline, child protective investigations and case management; the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children; the Office of Child Care Regulation; domestic violence; child welfare performance management and data reporting; child welfare information systems and strategic projects.
JoShonda joined the Department in 2006 as an Operations Manager in the Family Safety Program Office. Prior to joining the Department, she worked as a child welfare certification Trainer at Tallahassee Community College, a Program Specialist at The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida in Tallahassee and Clinical Director of Camelot Community Care, Inc., in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
In addition to serving as a Florida Abuse Hotline Counselor and Adjunct Lecturer at Florida State University, JoShonda served as a Program Manager in the Department’s Adult Protective Services Program and Director of Child Welfare Strategic Projects in the Office of Child Welfare.
Skilled at project oversight and program management, JoShonda led the implementation of significant child welfare legislation passed in 2014. She also has facilitated public hearings and public workshops during the development of Florida Administrative Code rules focused on child welfare.
JoShonda earned a bachelor’s degree of social work from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a master’s degree of social work from Florida State University.
John N. Bryant,
Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health
John N. Bryant is Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health at the Florida Department of Children and Families. Bryant previously served as Vice President for Legislative and External Affairs at the Florida Council for Community Mental Health, working with and advising state agencies on legislative and budget priorities, policy development, contract services, behavioral health program design, research and advocacy. Before that he worked with the department (and under the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services) for 36 years in multiple roles both regionally and at the statewide level including Chief of Operations for the Substance Abuse Program Office, Chief of the State Mental Health Treatment Facilities, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health Programs, Chief of Adult Mental Health and others. He completed course work for a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of South Florida, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of West Florida.
Grainne M. O’Sullivan
Director, Children's Legal Services
Grainne M. O’Sullivan, currently serves as Director of Children’s Legal Services. She joined the Department in May 2013 as Children's Legal Services Regional Director, coming to that role from the Office of the Attorney General where she supervised all juvenile dependency cases and conducted training on juvenile law for attorneys, state agents and the Dependency Court Improvement Project. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General from 2001 to 2005 and as Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Broward County in 2001, where she represented elderly clients at administrative hearings in immigration, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, divorce, and Medicare matters. She earned a political science degree from the New York Institute of Technology and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. While in school, Grainne represented clients seeking asylum in the United States in federal court as part of the Safe Harbor Project and was a Student Assistant District Attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, NY, where she was responsible for a full misdemeanor caseload and functioned as a prosecutor in the largest district attorney’s office in the nation.