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Gloria Pearson To Lead Department of Human Services

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that he will appoint Gloria Pearson, of Yankton, as Secretary of Human Services.

“I am very pleased that Gloria Pearson has agreed to join my cabinet as Secretary of Human Services,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Gloria is well-respected in her field, and she will be a strong and dynamic leader for this important department.”

Since 2000, Pearson has served as the executive director of Ability Building Services, a Yankton community support provider that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to that role, she was executive director of the Community Support Providers of South Dakota, and for 11 years she led what is now Dakota Milestones, a community support provider in Chamberlain.

“I thank Gov. Daugaard for this opportunity,” said Pearson. “The Department of Human Services serves many people in our state, and I look forward to working to advance these important services.

Pearson is a Sisseton native and a graduate of South Dakota State University and Northern State University. She and her husband, Jim, have three adult sons.

Pearson will enter her new role on Nov. 4. She succeeds Secretary Laurie Gill, who is leaving the Department of Human Services to be Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources. Ted Williams, director of the Developmental Center at Redfield, will serve as interim Secretary starting Sept. 3 as Gill transitions to her new position.

The Department of Human Services oversees the Division of Developmental Disabilities, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, the Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired and the South Dakota Developmental Center at Redfield.