The interim human services agency boss in Vermont, who’s responsible for departments dealing with foster care, corrections, mental health and other matters regarding children and adults, has been named to the post on a permanent basis.
Gov. Phil Scott announced the appointment of Jenney Samuelson as his secretary of the Agency of Human Services after she had spent several months in the caretaker role. Before her move in January to replace the retiring Mike Smith, she had been deputy secretary since June 2020.
In a March 28 news release, Samuelson described her work with the agency as “the hardest work of my life — and the most inspiring.”
“As we move forward, we will be transparent about the gaps in the system the pandemic exposed, and accountable to those we serve,” Samuelson said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to harness the lessons we learned these last two years and make strategic investments in our communities. It is a privilege to work in this role with a dedicated, innovative, and collaborative team to address the complex issues ahead of us.”
Samuelson was previously the deputy commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access and was a founding leader of the Vermont Blueprint for Health during the development of health care reforms.
Her portfolio as secretary of human services includes not only the foster care system, but also health, corrections, mental health, aging, and children and families. She will be in charge of Vermont’s efforts to combat the coronavirus.
Scott named Agency for Human Services general counsel Todd Daloz to succeed Samuelson as deputy secretary.