COLUMBIA, S.C. — The next leader of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be a familiar face.
Gov. Henry McMaster announced Wednesday that he was nominating Robbie Kerr to serve as the department’s next director.
“There is not a more important time for the Department of Health and Human Services to be led by an expert on Medicaid,” McMaster said at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon. “Robbie Kerr is respected by both Republicans and Democrats and has a sterling reputation for integrity, professionalism, candor, and collaborative leadership. We are delighted that he has agreed to take on this position at this critical time in our state’s history.”
“It has been the honor of my life to serve the Department of Health and Human Services, and I can think of no better way to close out my career than to serve the people of South Carolina,” Kerr said. “I thank the governor for the confidence he has placed in me, and I look forward to working with the fine staff at DHHS to meet the challenges we face. If I am confirmed, I promise that the state of South Carolina will receive every ounce of effort I have to offer.”
Kerr previously served as the department’s director from 2003 to 2007. Since retiring from DHHS in 2007, Kerr has owned and operated a consulting firm, Kerr & Company, Inc.
Kerr’s nomination will need to be confirmed by the South Carolina Senate.
A media advisory announcing the hire indicates that McMaster worked with the General Assembly during the selection.
“I am delighted to hear of the nomination of Robbie Kerr to be the director of Health and Human Services,” Senate Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee Chairman Thomas Alexander said. “Robbie Kerr was a great director of the agency when he was there before; he’s dedicated to public service, and I’m grateful for his willingness to accept this challenge. I have every confidence in the great success of DHHS under his leadership once confirmed.”
“When we have a vacancy like the director of Health and Human Services, we’ve got to find someone that we have the utmost confidence in and that can aptly lead this agency, and without a doubt, we have found such a person in Robbie Kerr,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Murrell Smith said. “Robbie is bringing a wealth of experience to the agency at one of the most critical times we’ve seen in health care in South Carolina.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Kerr will close the consulting firm.
Kerr worked for the department from 1985 to 2007. Kerr, 62, is married with three adult children and is a resident of Richland County. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina.