Jane E. Cheeks was confirmed as the new director of the Houston Department of Human Resources (HR) on July 6 by Houston City Council. At the time, Cheeks was serving as interim director since former HR Director Omar Reid resigned to accept employment elsewhere.
“I appreciate the passion,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner in congratulating Cheeks. “My hope is that the other 20,000 City employees will share that passion. If that happens, we are going to be just fine.”
Cheeks has been employed by the City for more than 16 years. She has experience leading large-scale departmental consolidations, heading numerous citywide human capital improvements and overseeing multi-million dollar budgets.
In 2011, she successfully improved the City of Houston's median HR support ratio from 1:38 to 1:117 by utilizing a matrix-driven model to transform 24 decentralized, independently-operating HR sections into a single, centralized Human Resources department. In 2013, she single-handedly founded and established the City of Houston's Troubleshooting Problems Systematically (TPS) team, which now serves as the sole-source help desk for the technological support needs of HR staff who aid the municipal workforce.
“My goals are to increase collaboration with departments, boost analytics and achieve total transparency,” said Cheeks. “We have all been called to service. We can create sound partnerships across the city to bolster training, staffing, fair labor practices and affordable healthcare benefits.”
Cheeks leads a department of more than 270 HR professionals.