LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A new Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Human Services has been named seven days after a resignation announcement.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that Mark White of Bryant would be the new agency head. Hutchinson’s announcement came after the resignation of then-head Cindy Gillespie was announced on Sept. 15.

“I have the utmost confidence in Mark to lead the Department of Humans Services. His breadth of experience, working relationship with the legislature, and his close working relationship with transfer work within DHS makes him the perfect fit to lead a department that provides critical services to children, senior citizens, and provides health care needs to the most vulnerable Arkansans.” Hutchinson said.

White is currently the chief of staff and chief legislative and intergovernmental affairs officer for DHS. He represents the agency before the Arkansas legislature and is a primary point of contact for legislators, elected officials, lobbyists, and other state agencies. The governor also appointed him to serve on the Arkansas Health Services Permit Commission.

Hutchinson appointed White to the Governor’s Transformation Advisory Board in 2017. The board helped lay the groundwork for the reorganization of state government, culminating in the Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019.

“I am grateful to Governor Hutchinson for the opportunity to lead the Department of Human Services as we serve the people of Arkansas. The mission of DHS is to improve the quality of life for all Arkansans by protecting the vulnerable, fostering independence, and promoting better health,” White said.

White’s term begins Oct. 8 with a salary of $201,700.