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Office of Policy & External Relations

The Office of Policy & External Relations (OPER), within the Office of the Secretary, provides leadership in state and federal government relations in the development and strategic focus of the department's legislative agenda and policy initiatives. OPER directs and oversees the implementation of strategic legislative initiatives through the legislative process and development of administrative rules, and the review of administrative appeals.

The office serves as the department's primary point of contact with local, state and federal elected and appointed officials and their staffs, regarding complex policy issues and the department's policy direction.  OPER provides for the department's rule-making process which establishes department-wide rule-making requirements and guidelines, the department's administrative hearing process that reviews administrative hearing decisions issued by Administrative Law Judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings and oversees the department's compliance with the Public Records Act and Privacy laws.


OPER Units:


State Resources


Federal Resources


Local Government


Contact the Office of Policy & External Relations:


Dana Phelps
Senior Director
(360) 902-7814

Brenda Davis
Confidential Secretary
(360) 901-7811

Christine Butler
Government Relations
(360) 902-7813

Craig Lowe
Board of Appeals
(360) 664-6100

Kristal Wiitala
Public Records/Privacy
(360) 902-8484