Ducey appoints new acting director of DES

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed a new acting director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Jim Hillyard replaces outgoing director Clarence Carter, who handed in his resignation letter Monday.

Hillyard has been deputy director for operations since 2011 and is responsible for the department's financial, technical, administrative and business support functions. He previously served as chief information officer and assistant director for the Division of Technology Services.

"With more than 20 years of state government service -- including nearly a decade of experience working for DES -- Jim Hillyard brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and economic and administrative expertise to the role of Director," Ducey said in a news release. "He has played an instrumental role in agency operations, and will continue to be a valuable asset to DES and to the people of Arizona. I appreciate his willingness to serve in this capacity and help advance the Department's critical mission." 

Prior to joining the Department of Economic Security, Hillyard spent seven years with the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, overseeing both the agency's administrative functions and the department's secure facilities.

He began his career in state government in 1993 as an analyst with the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

Hillyard earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Arizona State University and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

The Department of Economic Security oversees more than 40 safety-net programs, including welfare, unemployment insurance, child support and the state's Medicaid insurance program for low-income residents.

Carter oversaw the department while thousands of child abuse and neglect cases went unassigned. Former Gov. Jan Brewer launched a series of investigations and Child Protective Services subsequently was dissolved. The Department of Child Safety was created to take its place.

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