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Gov. Henry McMaster Names Next Department of Health and Human Services Director

April 7, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster was joined today by members of the General Assembly and state health care leaders to announce that Robert M. Kerr will be nominated to serve as the next director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Kerr, who previously served as director of DHHS from 2003-2007, worked for the agency for 22 years, beginning in 1985.

“There is not a more important time for the Department of Health and Human Services to be led by an expert on Medicaid,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Robbie Kerr is respected by both republicans and democrats and has a sterling reputation for integrity, professionalism, candor, and collaborative leadership. We are delighted that he has agreed to take on this position at this critical time in our state’s history.” 

“It has been the honor of my life to serve the Department of Health and Human Services, and I can think of no better way to close out my career than to serve the people of South Carolina,” said Robbie Kerr. “I thank the governor for the confidence he has placed in me, and I look forward to working with the fine staff at DHHS to meet the challenges we face. If I am confirmed, I promise that the state of South Carolina will receive every ounce of effort I have to offer.”

Since retiring from DHHS in 2007, Kerr has owned and operated a consulting firm, Kerr & Company, Inc. Upon his confirmation by the South Carolina Senate, all client contracts with the company will be terminated and he will have no further business relationship with any of those clients. Kerr & Company, Inc. is in the process of ceasing operations now.

As he has in the past, Governor McMaster worked with state health care leaders and members of the General Assembly to advise and assist him throughout the selection process.

“I am delighted to hear of the nomination of Robbie Kerr to be the director of Health and Human Services,” said Senator Thomas Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee. “Robbie Kerr was a great director of the agency when he was there before, he's dedicated to public service, and I'm grateful for his willingness to accept this challenge. I have every confidence in the great success of DHHS under his leadership once confirmed. 

“When we have a vacancy like the director of Health and Human Services, we’ve got to find someone that we have the utmost confidence in and that can aptly lead this agency, and without a doubt, we have found such a person in Robbie Kerr,” said Representative Murrell Smith, Chairman of the S.C. House Ways and Means Committee. “Robbie is bringing a wealth of experience to the agency at one of the most critical times we’ve seen in health care in South Carolina.”

Kerr, 62, is married with three adult children and is a resident of Richland County. He is a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina.

For a copy of Kerr’s headshot, click here.