Haynes, 52, will replace Eric Freidlander who was serving as the interim Secretary after Janie Miller resigned amid controversy last month. The Cabinet is responsible for overseeing Medicaid and social services, including child welfare programs.
Haynes previously served 10 years as the senior vice president and chief government affairs officer of YMCA of the USA.
Haynes is from Adair County, where she attended high school. She was a former President Bill Clinton senior staffer who was named director of the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work from Spalding University, Haynes went on to earn a master’s in social work from the University of Kentucky. She worked in the Somerset area in the community mental health system as an alcohol and drug counselor, according to a press release sent by Beshear’s office.
“Sec. Haynes is a wise choice to lead this Cabinet, and I congratulate the Governor for finding a secretary of this caliber in a short period of time,” said Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville in the release. Burch has been a leading legislator in an effort to make the Cabinet more transparent.
Haynes will begin as secretary on April 16.