The News Service of Florida reports that the Department of Children and Families made several staff changes late last week, including naming a veteran social services official deputy secretary. Pete Digre, an assistant secretary for operations at DCF since 2009 will move up to deputy secretary, DCF Secretary David Wilkins announced. Digre has worked in top administrative positions in social service agencies in Los Angeles and Philadelphia and for the state of Illinois. He also worked for the old Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and has a long academic resume that includes a doctorate in divinity. “His leadership in refining our relationships with community partners and immediately tackling crisis situations is a hallmark of his leadership and we are fortunate to have him leading our efforts,” Wilkins said of Digre in a memo to staff announcing the promotion. Wilkins also announced John Cooper, managing director for DCF’s Central Region, will become the new assistant secretary of operations. Cooper has been involved in overhauling the agency’s Hotline call center operations and was heavily involved in the 2010 effort to aid Haiti after the earthquake there. Cooper will work in Orlando. Wilkins also announced that Barbara Palmer, assistant secretary for administration, will be leaving to take a new job at another agency. Scott Stewart, currently the agency’s chief information officer, will take Palmer’s place. The changes will be phased in over the next six months, Wilkins said in the memo Friday.