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About Us 

Governor Scott Walker 

Economic Impact Report


Governor Scott Walker signed the 2011-13 state budget, creating the new Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) – formed by combining the Department of Regulation and Licensing and parts of the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services is responsible for ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals in Wisconsin. The department also administers and enforces laws to assure safe and sanitary conditions in public and private buildings. It provides administrative services to the state occupational regulatory authorities responsible for regulation of occupations and offers policy assistance in such areas as evaluating and establishing new professional licensing programs, creating routine procedures for legal proceedings, and adjusting policies in response to public needs.

The Department is organized into five divisions and the Office of the Secretary. The divisions are Policy Development, Management Services, Legal Services & Compliance, Credential Processing, and Industry Services.

The Department licenses and regulates more than 200 different types of credentials. The agency also provides centralized administrative services to nearly 100 boards, councils, and advisory committees. The boards, councils, and advisory committees have varying levels of responsibility and professional oversight based on statutory provisions. 

Click here to view the DSPS Economic Footprint report and learn more about how the Department effects business and economic growth in Wisconsin.




 Laura Gutiérrez was appointed by Governor Walker in February 2017 as Secretary of the Department of  Safety and Professional Services.

 She grew up in Milwaukee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Carroll College and a  Master of Arts in Leadership and Policy from Marquette University. She also completed the District  Administrator Licensure Program at Cardinal Stritch University and received her Superintendent license in  2016.

 Secretary Gutiérrez most recently served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Anthony School in  Milwaukee. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Principal and Director of Instruction at Bruce Guadalupe  Community School.

 Previously, Secretary Gutiérrez served as an elementary and middle school instructor in various capacities  and also worked as a clinical and microbiology laboratory assistant at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.

 She resides in Wind Lake with her husband George, and together, they have four children.

Secretary Laura Gutierrez



Deputy Secretary
Eric Esser

 Eric Esser was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services in  January 2016.


 Eric is originally from Waunakee, WI and graduated from Edgewood College with a Bachelor’s degree in  Criminal Justice.


 Eric previously served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of the department from 2015-2016.  Prior to joining the Department of  Safety and Professional Services, Eric worked in the offices of State Senator Alan Lasee from 2005-2011  and State Senator Alberta Darling from 2004-2005. He also served on the Waunakee Community School  District Board of Education from 2008-2011. Eric served as the Director of Gubernatorial Appointments in  the Office of Governor Scott Walker from 2011-2015. 


Assistant Deputy Secretary

Kirsten Reader

Kirsten Reader is the Assistant Deputy Secretary and has served with the Department since November 2013.

 Kirsten previously served as Administrator for the Division of Industry Services and the Division of Professional Credential Processing, as well as Public Information Officer.

 Prior to joining the Department, Kirsten worked on policy and communications in both the Wisconsin State Senate and Wisconsin State Assembly.