Executive Management Bios

Juan WIlliams

Juan Williams


Juan Williams was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources by Governor Bill Lee.  Prior to this appointment, he spent fourteen years at Duke Energy’s Piedmont Natural Gas Division in management positions in Human Resources, Utility Operations, and Change Readiness.

During his tenure at Duke Energy Nashville Resource Center, Juan advised managers, supervisors and employees on matters including operations and workplace culture. Previously, Juan served as the Director of Change Readiness with focuses on business process, systems and technology, talent management and restructuring.

He also led the Human Resources department with oversight over Employee Relations, Labor Relations, Talent Acquisition and Business Support functions.  In addition to 20 years of human resources and 13 years of operations experience, Juan is an active member of the community and serves on the PENCIL Foundation Alumni Board of Directors, Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Board of Directors, and the National Association of State Personnel Executives, Vice-President.

Juan is a results-oriented energetic leader with a focus on excellence in communication and continuous learning.

Juan received a bachelor’s degree in business from North Carolina Wesleyan College and MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, NC.


Lesley Farmer

Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel

Lesley T. Farmer serves as the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources. In her capacity, she oversees all legal issues within the Department, offering counsel and advice to her agency, other state agencies and individuals on employment law matters. In addition, all matters dealing with departmental operations, legislative affairs and media relations, employee relations, employee disciplinary appeals, mediation, workplace discrimination and harassment, quality assurance, records management, as well as the review of certain statewide employee transactions fall under her review.  

Lesley previously served as the EEO Administrator and Deputy General Counsel for the Department. In this capacity, she offered advice and counsel to her agency and state agencies in the areas of employment law, ADA, FMLA, workplace discrimination, harassment, and investigations. Lesley has experience in state and federal civil rights laws, employment laws, and affirmative action. 

Prior to joining the Department in February 2013, Lesley served as the Assistant General Counsel for Civil Rights for the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE). Her responsibilities in that role included investigating civil rights complaints within Tennessee public schools K-12 and employment issues within TDOE. She also provided training, legal advice and technical assistance to TDOE and Tennessee school officials on school law, employment law, and civil rights matters, including assistance in creating the Tennessee Bullying Prevention Program in schools. Prior to joining TDOE in April 2007, Ms. Farmer worked for a private law firm in Memphis, TN practicing in the areas of criminal defense, family law, personal injury and general civil litigation.

Lesley earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law. She is a graduate of Lead Tennessee, Tennessee Government Executive Institute, the Department of Human Resources Executive Leadership Institute, and the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law. She has also been trained as a Rule 31 Mediator.

Kim T. Yap

Kim T. Yap

Assistant Commissioner and Chief Human Resources Business Partner

Kim Thau Yap has served as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR) since 2016. He currently leads the DOHR Compensation and Agency Resource Center teams. Modernizing the State’s compensation structure and streamlining transactional processes have been areas of recent focus.

After joining DOHR in 2015 as Director of HR & Talent Management he established the Business Solutions team to provide direct HR services for DOHR, the Governor’s office, Tennessee State Museum, and several boards and commissions. He first entered state service in 2012 as Director of Human Resources for the Department of Children Services. In that role he helped establish regional HR business partners to enhance customer-focused operations.

Kim has twenty-six years of experience partnering with senior leaders to develop and execute human resources strategies and initiatives. He has worked with a wide range of public and private organizations (e.g., finance, engineering, sales, and manufacturing), including domestic and international companies. His responsibilities have included project and change management, leadership training and facilitation, performance management, and employee relations. Kim is known for coaching leaders at all levels to manage data and teams with integrity as a strategic approach to achieve sustained business results.

Kim earned a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Western Kentucky University. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a clinical focus from the University of Central Florida. He is an alumnus of the Young Leader’s Council Nashville, LEAD Tennessee, Tennessee Executive Leadership Institute (TGEI), and the state’s HR Master Series.


Coretta Young

Assistant Commissioner

Coretta Young serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR). In her role, she provides strategic leadership in the alignment of all aspects of Talent Management.  Leading the integration of the Office of People, Performance, and Culture and the Office of Organizational Agility, she has developed a comprehensive approach to advance employees while assisting organizations in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent.  With a strong focus on impactful and transformational results, she has created and implemented strategic frameworks for talent development, organizational development, career management, and employee engagement and retention.   

Coretta joined DOHR in 2016 as an HR Program Administrator and led the Office of People, Performance, and Culture.  In this role, she provided strategic oversight and direction to diversity initiatives, performance management, employee relations, and employee engagement. 

Prior to joining DOHR, Coretta served as the Director of Human Resources for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) where she oversaw employee relations, performance management, and workforce planning.  She has over 25 years of experience in the areas of human resources, learning and development, and continuous quality improvement.  

Coretta is a Rule 31 trained mediator, a DOHR Certified Facilitator, and a graduate of the following Tennessee leadership programs: Tennessee Government Executive Institute, LEAD Tennessee, and HR Master Program.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Public Service Management from Cumberland University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.  

Craig Raymer

Craig Raymer

Assistant Commissioner

Craig Raymer currently serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR). Prior to being appointed Assistant Commissioner, he served on DOHR’s Senior Leadership Team as the HR Business Solutions Administrator.

As the Assistant Commissioner, Craig provides leadership and oversight to DOHR’s HR Business Solutions and Recruiting Divisions. The HR Business Solutions Division delivers human capital management strategy as well as transactional support to multiple state agencies through HR Business Partners and their teams. The Recruiting Division is charged with leading enterprise-wide recruiting initiatives as well as developing innovative, strategic solutions to recruit Top Talent to the State of Tennessee’s workforce.    

Craig spent over 15 years working in the private sector prior to joining Tennessee State Government having served in various management and HR related roles. He began his career in Tennessee State Government in 2005 on the frontlines as a Case Manager with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS). Prior to transitioning into the area of HR with the State of Tennessee, he held various roles related to direct service delivery with DCS. In addition to DCS and DOHR, Craig worked with the Tennessee Department of Correction where he served as an Employee Relations Manager and Assistant Director of HR. In March 2019, Craig came to DOHR from DCS where he had served as DCS Field Services HR Director, Director of Internal Affairs, and Executive Director of HR. 

Craig graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and received his Master’s degree in Public Service Management from Cumberland University. He is a graduate of Tennessee Government Executive Institute, HR Master’s Series, and LEAD Tennessee. Craig serves as a mediator in the Tennessee Employee Mediation Program and holds the designations of PHR from the Human Resources Certification Institute and IPMA-SCP from the Public Sector HR Association.