ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The new head of Minnesota's largest state agency is an adviser to Gov. Mark Dayton.

Dayton General Counsel Emily Johnson Piper was named the Department of Human Services commissioner on Monday. She replaces Lucinda Jesson, who was appointed to a Court of Appeals post.

The agency has nearly 7,000 employees and directs billions of dollars in annual spending. It oversees the state's social services, including subsidized health care programs, as well as the sex offender confinement program now under court scrutiny.

Johnson Piper has been in the senior ranks of the governor's office since last spring after several years at the state's Department of Commerce, where she rose to deputy commissioner. She's the daughter of Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson.