University of Kentucky

Alumna Named Secretary of Cabinet for Health and Family Services

A longtime Kentuckian and University of Kentucky alumna with decades of experience running state and national organizations, including a turn as a senior staffer to President Bill Clinton, will serve as the new secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). Governor Steve Beshear recently announced that Audrey Tayse Haynes ’85 SW will begin her new role as secretary on April 16.

“Audrey brings a dynamic mix of large-scale organization management, policy development, and government experience to this position, and I’m very pleased that she is bringing those talents back to us in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “This cabinet is a complex organization, with a broad range of programs that serve tens of thousands of our most vulnerable Kentuckians. Audrey has the right skills and resources to make sure our citizens continue to get the care and services they need.”

Haynes brings more than 25 years of experience in leadership and management of organizations to CHFS. Her prior positions include 10 years as the senior vice president and chief government affairs officer of YMCA of the USA, as well as chief of staff to Tipper Gore during Vice President Al Gore’s second term. Haynes also served on President Bill Clinton’s senior staff as the director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.

Haynes has held numerous positions in Kentucky government, including an appointment by Gov. Paul Patton to reopen the state’s policy office in Washington, D.C. and as a director of human resource development in the Department of Mental Health in the former Cabinet for Human Resources.

“I am excited to be back in Kentucky full time, and I am honored to be working in this cabinet,” Haynes said. “CHFS impacts every single Kentuckian – whether through birth certificates, health departments, restaurant inspections or services to the elderly. I feel that I am returning to my roots of social work and mental health services, and I’m pleased to be part of a cabinet that provides such critical services to Kentuckians.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk in-depth with Audrey Haynes since she is a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s master’s degree program in Social Work and supporter of the college,” said James Adams, dean of the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. “Even from Washington D.C., where she has served as a senior executive with the YMCA and in the Clinton administration, she has kept a close watch on Kentucky issues – particularly those impacting children and their families. She cares deeply about the Commonwealth, the social work profession, and the lives and futures of our children. She will do an outstanding job in a role critical to our state.”

Compiled from material written by Kerri Richardson and Kathy Johnson, UK PR