Sam Criss

Sam Criss, President/CEO


Sam Criss has more than 20 years serving child welfare and community mental health agencies both public and private, with a proven record in conceiving and transmitting vision into reality, mission into action and philosophy into practice. In 2017, Mr. Criss served as Indiana's interim child welfare director, appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb to lead 4,000 employees of the Indiana Department of Child Services with an annual operating budget of almost $1.1B. Prior to this, he served as the agency's deputy director, overseeing the department's statewide service array including prevention, preservation, older youth and home-based interventions. In addition, Mr. Criss acted as the state's liaison with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and coordinated the state's development and submission of its Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) and Program Improvement Plan (PIP). Most recently, Mr. Criss served as the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

Prior to serving in state government, Mr. Criss was the founding President and CEO of Indiana Connected by 25 (now called Foster Success). Foster Success, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other critical stakeholders, has empowered thousands of Indiana foster youth to make successful transitions to adulthood. He earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Ball State University and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is a native Hoosier, born and raised in New Castle, Indiana and has resided in Indianapolis since 1997. Sam believes the mission of Tangram is vital in ensuring individuals with disabilities and their families have the support they need to lead healthy and happy lives.