- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is appointing Lynne Valenti to be the next secretary of the state Department of Social Services.

Valenti has been the department’s deputy secretary since 2011. She will replace Kim Malsam-Rysdon, who is leaving the Department of Social Services to join the governor’s office as a senior adviser.

Daugaard says Valenti will be a strong leader because she cares about the department’s mission to protect children, serve people with behavioral problems and give a helping hand to those who need it.

Valenti joined state government in 1998, working as legal counsel for the Human Services Department and the Human Resources Bureau before moving to the Social Services Department. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the New England School of Law.

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