Michael Wisehart is an experienced leader with 20 years of progressive responsibility overseeing human services programs within the Department of Economic Security. He is passionately committed to improving the lives of Arizonans across all walks of life. Mr. Wisehart most recently served as the Assistant Director for the Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services and has previously served in a similar role in the Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility overseeing the SNAP and Cash Assistance programs in Arizona. Over the course of his career, Mr. Wisehart has served in a variety of other positions within DES including as the Chief Financial Officer during the Great Recession.
Playing key roles within DES during both the COVID-19 pandemic and the prior recession, Mr. Wisehart is a strong problem-solver and collaborative leader focused on supporting Arizonans in need while recognizing the important fiduciary responsibility of the Department. He is a champion for process improvement and staff development and will focus on community partnerships and improving the customer experience for DES clients and stakeholders.
A native Arizonan, Mr. Wisehart has both an MBA and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Arizona State University. He is the proud father of two amazing boys.
The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I made a difference for that one.”
-- Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)