Governmental Affairs Director
Jim DeBeaugrine is the Governmental Affairs Director for Therap. He has extensive experience working for the Florida Legislature and is considered an expert in state appropriations and legislative and state agency processes in general. He served in various capacities in the House Appropriations Committee, primarily in the areas of Health and Human Services and Criminal and Civil Justice, over a 19-year career. He ended his tenure with the House as Staff Director for the Justice Appropriations Committee.
Upon leaving the Legislature, Jim joined the state’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities as the Deputy Director over planning, budget, data and research, financial management, general services, and other administrative support functions. He was subsequently promoted to be the agency’s Executive Director.
As Director, he led the agency during an especially challenging period when dissatisfaction with previous agency management had led to numerous, public discussions among Legislators about abolishing the agency. He led the agency back to a position of trust with major stakeholders, Legislators and the general public. This helped to secure the agency’s continued existence. He also won popular and Legislative support for iBudget Florida which is the most fundamental reform of the system since widespread adoption of the Home and Community Based Services waiver in the early 1990’s. iBudget was the agency’s counterproposal to a number of serious attempts to turn the service delivery system over to managed care organizations and was adamantly opposed by the advocacy community. He was unanimously confirmed as Executive Director by the Florida Senate, the first Director in the agency’s history to do so.
Jim left state government after a brief stint in an interim capacity to start RFJ Governmental Consultants – a successful, boutique governmental consulting and general advocacy company that primarily serves non-profits that work with individuals with disabilities.
Jim is also co-founder and current board chair for Opportunity Works, Inc. – a full-service staffing firm that specializes in placing individuals with disabilities into competitive employment. The company also provides training and consulting services to businesses seeking to diversify their workforce and ensure that they are providing appropriate accommodations for their employees with disabilities.
Finally, he also serves as the chair of Family Café – a unique non-profit that organizes the largest event of its kind in the country that is put on exclusively for people with disabilities and their families. More than 10,000 individuals with all types of disabilities, along with their caregivers, come together in a three-day, free event for mutual support and to learn more effective ways to leverage community resources for themselves and their loved ones. He also serves in a volunteer capacity as the Executive Director of the Florida Center to Advance Justice.
Jim has an undergraduate degree in economics and political science and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from The Florida State University. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife Susan. They have two grown children. He enjoys outdoor activities, especially saltwater fishing and college athletics.