Whitmer taps former Obama appointee to lead Health and Human Services Department

Robert Gordon
By  | 

LANSING (WJRT) (1/10/2019) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has hired an official from the Obama administration and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the new director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Robert Gordon most recently was the senior vice president of finance and global strategy for The College Board. He takes over leadership of the department from Farah Hanley, who will become deputy director for financial operations.

“I have full confidence that Robert will work every day to improve public health and deliver essential human services for Michiganders across the state,” said Whitmer.

President Obama appointed Gordon as acting deputy director at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and served as acting assistant secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.

Within the administration, Gordon was instrumental in leading evidence-based policymaking initiatives, which tied funding to evaluations. He earlier worked as a law clerk for Ginsburg and served as a law guardian for children in foster care.

“He brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will lead the Department of Health and Human Services to drive real results that help hardworking families, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of our department leaders as we build a stronger Michigan for everyone,” Whitmer said.

The Department of Health and Human Services is the state's largest with about 14,000 employees focusing on everything from public health to child welfare.