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Governor McKee Nominates DHS and DBR Directors

PROVIDENCE, RI Governor Dan McKee today sent the following cabinet names for advice and consent to the Rhode Island Senate:

Kimberly Merolla-Brito, Director, Department of Human Services

"From the moment she ascended to the role of Director of DHS, Kimberly Merolla-Brito has been an asset for each and every Rhode Islander. She has more than 23 years of state service, and her institutional knowledge has been beneficial in ensuring effective operations and service delivery to more than 300,000 people," said Governor McKee. "As permanent director, she will continue to lead the dedicated team across DHS and the numerous initiatives throughout the department that continue to aid Rhode Islanders."

"I am honored by today's announcement by Governor McKee," said Acting Director Merolla-Brito. "I would like to express my gratitude for this important consideration to serve as director of the Department of Human Services. This agency serves more than a third of all Rhode Islanders who are most in need. Ensuring we help support and provide opportunities for advancement, while improving access for them, is of the utmost importance. I look forward to the process ahead and remain focused on the mission and vision of DHS."

Merolla-Brito has more than 23 years of experience in various sectors of state service. Prior to her appointment to acting director in August 2022, Merolla-Brito served as the deputy director for policy and operations since 2017.

She has a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work from Rhode Island College. She is also a licensed independent clinical social worker.

DHS is an agency within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Elizabeth Dwyer, Director, Department of Business Regulation

"With more than 20 years at the Department of Business Regulation in a variety of capacities, Beth Dwyer has the experience and leadership to be a voice and advocate for Rhode Island's business and consumer community," said Governor McKee. "She is a strong supporter of streamlining operations to make owning and operating a business in Rhode Island more efficient, and I am confident that as permanent director, she will continue to build on our state's ongoing economic momentum."

"Serving as the Director of the Department of Business Regulation is an honor and a privilege, and I thank Governor McKee for this opportunity," said Interim Director Dwyer. "I aim to expand on DBR's record as an agency that responsibly and transparently regulates a wide variety of Rhode Island businesses with a strong and consistent focus on consumer protection, fairness, and regulatory innovation. I look forward to continuing this work alongside the team at DBR and my distinguished colleagues in the McKee Administration."

Dwyer has been with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation for over 20 years, first as General Counsel to the Insurance Division and then as Associate and Deputy Director. She is a past president of the Rhode Island Women's Bar Association.

Beth is a graduate of Providence College and Pepperdine University School of Law.

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