Sonja Gaines, MBA
Deputy Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Behavioral Health Service
Sonja Gaines has more than 25 years’ experience leading community mental health services in Texas. Sonja came to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in 2014 as the first Associate Commissioner for Mental Health Coordination working across 23 state agencies. In 2016, Sonja also assumed leadership for the policy and delivery of community IDD and BH services within Texas HHSC as the Deputy Executive Commissioner for IDD and Behavioral Health Services. Sonja holds a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Women’s University, as well as bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Maryland and William Paterson University, respectively. Her vision is to create a unified approach to behavioral health services that allows Texans to gain access to care at the right time and place.