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For Immediate Release

05.22.2019

Governor Hutchinson Announces 15 Secretaries of Newly Formed Transformation Cabinet 

Percentage of women in cabinet highest in Arkansas history

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced the names of the secretaries who will lead the 15 cabinets he created as part of his plan to transform state government.

Under Act 910 of 2019, the secretaries will assume leadership of the new cabinets on July 1. These new cabinets will replace the current 42 executive-level agencies.

“This is the culmination of two years of hard work that will make state government more efficient and allow agencies to be even more responsive to needs,” Governor Hutchinson said. “I have selected a diverse slate of secretaries whose cumulative years of experience are exactly what Arkansas needs as we grow our state and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Of the 15 cabinet secretaries, seven are women. That represents the highest percentage (47%) of women in cabinet appointments in Arkansas history. This is the first reorganization of Arkansas state government in nearly 50 years.

The new secretaries, the cabinet each will lead, and links to their respective bios and headshots are below. To view the full list online, click HERE.

The official start date for all secretaries is July 1, 2019.

  • Secretary of the Department of Agriculture – Wes Ward
    Ward currently serves the state as the Secretary of the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD).
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Commerce – Michael Preston
    Preston currently serves the state as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). He will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Corrections – Wendy Kelley
    Kelley currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC), soon to be known as the Division of Corrections. She will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Education – Johnny Key
    Key currently serves the state as the Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), soon to be known as the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. He will continue to serve in both capacities. 
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Energy and Environment – Becky W. Keogh
    Keogh currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), soon to be known as the Division of Environmental Quality. She will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration – Larry W. Walther
    Walther currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Health – Dr. Nathaniel Smith
    Smith currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Human Services – Cindy Gillespie
    Gillespie currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). 
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Inspector General – Elizabeth Thomas Smith
    Smith currently serves the state as the Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General. She will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Labor and Licensing – Daryl E. Bassett
    Bassett currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS), soon to be known as the Division of Workforce Services.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of the Military – Major General Mark H. Berry
    General Berry is the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism – Stacy Hurst
    Hurst currently serves the state as the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), soon to be known as the Division of Arkansas Heritage. She will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Public Safety – Jami Cook
    Cook currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (ALETA), soon to be known as the Division of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. She will continue to serve in both capacities.
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services – Amy Fecher
    Fecher currently serves the state as the Chief Transformation Officer of the Governor’s Office of Transformation. 
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.
       
  • Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs – Colonel (Ret.) Nathaniel (Nate) Todd
    Todd currently serves the state as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA).
    • Click HERE for Headshot.
    • Click HERE for Bio.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

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