Michael Kaess

Michael Kaess

Michael (Mike) Kaess is the director of the North Carolina Disability Determination Services part of DHHS’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He became the NCDDS Director in April 2011.

Kaess began his public service career at the state level with the North Carolina Retirement System in 2002, serving as the Deputy Director for Operations and division lead on the ORBIT software project.

He has private sector experience as a Law Firm Administrator at two different law firms in Raleigh.

Kaess is also a retired United States Air Force Officer (Major-RegAF) with 15 years of commissioned and five years enlisted service. He’s also had a diverse career as Security Police Officer in Colorado Springs; Personnel Studies and Analysis Officer at Hq Tactical Air Command; and SAS Programmer/Statistical Modeler at Hq Military Personnel Center. During the first Gulf War, he was a Support Squadron Commander at an overseas base.

Kaess holds a Master of Public Administration in organizational change and development from Golden Gate University, a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science in technical management.

He lives with his wife, Rita, in Wake Forest, and has three children, two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.