Gov. Tom Corbett has nominated the state's acting secretary of the Department of Public Welfare to serve as the agency's secretary.
Beverly Mackereth has extensive human services experience, having begun her career working at the York County Blind Center and the York County Children and Youth Services, overseeing investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect. She was appointed by former Gov. Tom Ridge as deputy director of the Governor's Community Partnership for Safe Children, according to her biography.
Ms. Mackereth, 55, also served as mayor of Spring Grove and in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In the Legislature, she was on the Education, Children & Youth, Aging & Older Adult Services, Judiciary, and Health & Human Services committees.
She must still be confirmed by the state Senatein order to be the agency's Secretary. She has been acting secretary since February.
The previous DPW Secretary, Gary Alexander, had attracted criticism for his cuts to social programs.
The agency employs 16,000 and has a budget of more than $28 billion in state and federal dollars, according to a statement from the Corbett administration. The department provides services and supports to more than 2 million in Pennsylvania.