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Date Posted: 09/30/2019

White to Serve as Chief of Legislative Affairs

For Immediate Release:
Sept. 30, 2019

Media Contacts:
Amy Webb
Chief of Communications

Marci Manley
Deputy Chief of Communications


White to Serve as Chief of Legislative Affairs

Roles as DHS chief counsel, deputy director show long leadership history


(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Cindy Gillespie has tapped Mark White to step in and serve as the agency’s next Chief of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs starting in October, DHS announced Monday.

White, 46, will replace Kelley Linck, who is leaving to work in the private sector on Oct. 4. Linck became the first Chief of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for DHS in June 2016 – a position created to ensure Legislators and other elected officials had a point of contact and someone who can quickly provide them with information needed for them to make decisions. Linck also oversaw the DHS constituent services and rules offices and served as Gillespie’s Chief of Staff. White will retain those roles.

“Because of his current and previous leadership roles at DHS, Mark will be able to hit the ground running, especially as it relates to complicated Medicaid programs,” Gillespie said. “He is incredibly smart, knows DHS well, and knows exactly who to call and what to do when Legislators need help. With Mark taking on this role, Legislators can rest assured their concerns will be addressed, and they will be informed about what’s happening at DHS.”

White has more than 15 years of experience in State government, several as a senior executive. He was named DHS chief counsel in March 2013 and was promoted to one of two Deputy Director positions at DHS in 2015. As Deputy Director, he oversaw over half of the department, including all the Medicaid, health, and community programs. He left DHS in September 2016 to serve as the Director of Legal Services for the nonprofit Arkansas Public School Resource Center. White re-joined DHS in February 2018 to serve as the Deputy Director of the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS).

White has a long history of state service outside DHS, as well. He has served as a lawyer for the Arkansas Department of Education, an Administrative Law Judge with the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission, and as former Governor Mike Huckabee’s Policy Advisor for Regulatory Affairs.

“I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to serve as the go-to person for Legislators for DHS because I know how important that role is,” White said. “I appreciate the path Kelley has created for me, and I’m ready to get to work.”


Arkansas Department of Human Services
Arkansas Department of Human Services

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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