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Whitmer names former Obama administration worker as next DHHS director

Robert Gordon.jpg

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to fill her cabinet as her first month as leader of Michigan is underway.

Whitmer named Robert Gordon the next leader of the Department of Health and Human Services Thursday. He replaces acting director Farah Hanley, who Whitmer appointed earlier in her transition.

Gordon currently serves as senior vice president of Finance and Global Strategy for The College Board, a non-profit group that works with students with college readiness. Prior to The College Board, Gordon was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as acting deputy director at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and also served as acting assistant secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.

“I have full confidence that Robert will work every day to improve public health and deliver essential human services for Michiganders across the state,” Whitmer said in a release. “He brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will lead the Department of Health and Human Services to drive real results that help hardworking families, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of our department leaders as we build a stronger Michigan for everyone.”

Gordon also worked as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg earlier in his career. The new DHHS director comes with praise from the Obama Administration who called Gordon a “thoughtful policy professional.”

“He cares about people, first and foremost, and brings prodigious skills to the task of making a difference in their lives. I couldn't be more thrilled that he will be serving the people of Michigan,” said Cecilia Munoz, a Detroit native and Obama’s director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Gordon said he is ready to work with the department, one that has been plagued with controversy surrounding the Flint Water Crisis as well as various other emerging problems like PFAS contamination.

“I look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and this administration as we improve public health and quality of life for Michiganders across the state,” Gordon said in a release. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work building a Michigan where everyone has access to the care they need and can make healthy decisions for themselves and their families. Let’s go.”

Follow Political Reporter Mikenzie Frost on Twitter and Facebook. Send tips to mbfrost@sbgtv.com or 517-897-4861

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