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Rendell Announces Resignation of Secretary Richman
December 9, 2009

Governor Rendell today announced that Department of Public Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman is stepping down to become Chief Operating Officer at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The governor named Deputy Secretary Harriet Dichter as the new secretary. Dichter currently serves as deputy secretary, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, for the Departments of Public Welfare and Education.

Ms. Richman has resigned effective December 31. She has served as secretary since the beginning of Governor Rendell’s administration in 2003. The governor spoke highly of Ms. Richman and listed many of her accomplishments.

Ms. Richman was given a standing ovation when she came to the podium. She thanked her deputy secretaries and gave them credit for the accomplishments that have occurred. She said that she was busy trying to list the things she has not gotten done so that she can hand them over to the next secretary. She highlighted adult protective services and the children’s ombudsman initiatives as two unfinished projects. Secretary Richman was visibly emotional when relating her story of attending segregated schools for nine years and speaking about now working proudly for President Obama.

George Kimes, PCPA executive director, extended best wishes to Secretary Estelle Richman and much success as she heads to Washington, DC. “Ms. Richman has strengthened the voices of families and consumers in our system,” he noted. “We are hopeful in her new role she will enhance much needed housing opportunities for clients and consumers.”

The covernor’s nomination of Harriet Dichter is subject to Senate confirmation. In addition to her current position, Ms. Dichter previously served as deputy secretary in the Office of Children, Youth, and Families and worked in the Rendell administration when he served as mayor Philadelphia.

Access the link to view the official press release from the governor’s web site.

 

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