Dear Department of Social and Health Services employees:
Today I want to tell you how much I appreciate the tremendous job Susan Dreyfus has done as Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services for the past two and a half years, and to tell you how delighted I am that her predecessor, Robin Arnold-Williams, has agreed to come back to serve as DSHS Secretary.
As you know, this is one of the most challenging leadership positions in Washington state government. And both Robin and Susan have proved to be more than up to the task.
I am grateful that Susan moved 2,000 miles from her home and family to help lead us through the most challenging economic crisis any of us have experienced in our careers in public service. She did so with determination, enthusiasm and optimism that reminded us to keep our heads up and our eyes focused on the future.
I’m also grateful to Robin for stepping up again. As many of you already know, she too brings her own special brand of leadership to the department. When it comes to human services, few leaders are as knowledgeable or dynamic as Robin. I learned that first hand when Robin served as DSHS Secretary from March of 2005 until December of 2008, when she became the Director of my Executive Policy Office.
From there, she joined Leavitt Partners as a Senior Advisor. Leavitt Partners was founded by Mike Leavitt, who served as Governor of Utah, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency and as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Robin served on Governor Leavitt’s Cabinet as Director of the Utah State Department of Human Resources from 1997 through 2004, before coming to DSHS here in Washington.
As secretary, Robin will skillfully help continue to transition the Department and all of you who have worked so hard to serve our state’s most vulnerable residents though these difficult economic times.
I want to thank each of you – dedicated public servants – for your patient, gracious willingness to keep moving forward.
Please join me in thanking Susan for her service to the people of Washington and in congratulating and supporting Robin as she takes on this familiar but nonetheless challenging job.