Former York state representative Bev Mackereth will become Pennsylvania's acting secretary of public welfare after Gary Alexander departs this month, Gov. Tom Corbett announced today.
Mackereth has spent her professional career in public service and has significant experience in health and human services. She has served as the Department of Public Welfare's deputy secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families since November 2011.
Mackereth's previous experience includes serving as executive director of York County Human Services, executive director of the Healthy York County Coalition with WellSpan Health System, and deputy director of the Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children under Gov. Tom Ridge. She represented York County's 196th state House District from 2001-08.
Corbett said Alexander's last day will be Feb. 15. Alexander resigned and is leaving state government to pursue private-sector opportunities and spend more time with his wife and children, who reside in Rhode Island.
"I am grateful to Governor Corbett for giving me the opportunity to serve the commonwealth during his tenure," Alexander said. "I have been blessed to have been surrounded by a host of remarkable employees at DPW. Their professionalism and commitment to the tasks at hand allowed us to realize great achievements."
"Secretary Alexander has been a tremendous asset in prioritizing our funding and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in our welfare programs,'' Corbett said. "He has saved millions of dollars in making our programs more efficient and effective, while still allowing us to deliver core services to those who need it most in Pennsylvania."
Secretary is the top post in the Department of Public Welfare, which employs approximately 17,000 workers and has a budget of more than $26 billion in state and federal dollars. The department provides services and supports approximately 2.2 million low-income, elderly and disabled Pennsylvanians.