Dr. Michael Fine, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), announced today that Sarah Harrigan has been named HEALTH's new Chief of Staff. In this role, Mrs. Harrigan will oversee staff management and the oversight of hiring at the state agency with approximately 435 employees.
She joined HEALTH on December 30, 2013.
"We are very excited to have Sarah on board," Dr. Fine said. "Her broad range of experience in policy, management, and community organizing make her a perfect fit to help HEALTH prevent disease and promote the health and safety of all Rhode Islanders."
Mrs. Harrigan began her career as a community organizer in New England. She worked as the Legislative Aide for the Minority Chair of the Finance Committee at the Ohio House of Representatives and as the Legislative Liaison for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management where she collaborated with state agency directors and their staff on the development and implementation of state budget priorities. She also worked for the United Way of Central Ohio.
"It's great to be home in New England and part of such a talented team of professionals at HEALTH," Mrs. Harrigan said. "I look forward to streamlining strategy and improving coordination here at the Department."
With her appointment, HEALTH turns toward 2014 with a strengthened leadership team ready to pursue an ambitious agenda aimed at making Rhode Island the healthiest state in the nation.
The appointment of Sarah Harrigan follows HEALTH's addition last month of James Palmer as Public Information Officer. Palmer has broad experience in global health and a background in government and politics in Boston and Washington, DC.
Sarah Harrigan holds a Bachelor's degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Ohio State University. She is a native of Massachusetts.