By Marion Davis
PROVIDENCE – Gov. Donald L. Carcieri has nominated Gary D. Alexander, head of the R.I. Department of Human Services (DHS) since December 2006 and the chief architect of the state’s new Global Medicaid Waiver, to lead the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS).
If the promotion is approved by the R.I. Senate, Alexander will subsume his current position and maintain his responsibilities as DHS director but will also oversee the R.I. Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals (MHRH), the R.I. Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA) and the R.I. Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
With the establishment of the Medicaid waiver, Alexander “has distinguished himself” by seeking reforms “that make government more responsive, accountable and cost-effective,” Carcieri said in a statement. In the new role, the governor added, “I am confident Gary will continue to work across EOHHS departments to implement the waiver – and all social-service programs – to better serve our most vulnerable populations.”
Besides the global waiver, Alexander also led the redesign of the state’s cash-assistance program, now known as RI Works. The changes, which took effect in June, were intended to tighten the program’s focus on getting beneficiaries to work.
Before becoming director of the DHS, Alexander had served assistant to the director for eight years. He has also served as policy director for former Lt. Gov. Bernard Jackvony and as a health care budget analyst for the Mass. Senate Committee on Ways and Means. He has a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
The EOHHS is currently led by Deputy Director Adelita S. Orefice, former executive director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT).
News and information from the R.I. Governor’s Office are available at www.governor.ri.gov.