Taps Kevin Ryan and Fred Jacobs to Serve


TRENTON – Governor-elect Jon S. Corzine today nominated Kevin Ryan to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and renamed Fred Jacobs to head the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

“I’m proud to name Kevin Ryan and Fred Jacobs to our team and add them to the list of outstanding individuals with distinguished records of service who will work on behalf of the people of New Jersey in this administration,” Corzine said. “Both Kevin and Fred understand the challenges that lie ahead for their departments, and both have the skills to tackle the important issues they will face.”

Kevin Ryan has served as the State Child Advocate since October 2003. During his tenure he has been responsible for holding accountable state agencies that serve children at risk of abuse and neglect. His work has dealt specifically with agencies that oversee juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health and disabilities. Ryan has previously served as Human Services Chief of Staff. He earned a B.A. from The Catholic University of America, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a LL.M. from New York University School of Law. He is married with six children and resides in Fair Haven.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of New Jersey’s at-risk children, families and persons with disabilities,” said Ryan. “I understand that the work ahead will not be easy, but I welcome the challenge and look forward to working with Governor-elect Corzine to bring about positive change.”

Fred Jacobs, M.D., J.D., has served as DHSS commissioner since 2004. His tenure as commissioner follows a distinguished 37-year career at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Jacobs earned an A.B from Colgate University, an M.D. from University of Miami School of Medicine and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. He is married with two children and resides in Short Hills.

“I am extremely gratified to have been asked by Governor-elect Corzine to continue as commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services in his administration,” said Jacobs. “It is both a recognition of the valuable contributions made by the department and an opportunity to continue these important initiatives into the future. I look forward to working with the Corzine team for the benefit of all New Jerseyans.”

Previously Governor-elect Corzine nominated Ronald Chen to serve as the Public Advocate and Lisa Jackson to serve as the Environmental Protection Commissioner. Additionally he tapped Nina Wells to serve as Secretary of State and renamed Major General Glenn Rieth as The Adjutant General of New Jersey. All Department heads are appointed by the Governor with the advise and consent of the Senate. The only exception is the Secretary of Agriculture who is appointed by the Board of Agriculture with the Governor’s approval. Cabinet officers who are retained by a new administration are not required to be renominated and reconfirmed by the Senate.

The Department of Human Services operates six state psychiatric hospitals, seven centers for persons with developmental disabilities and three residential treatment facilities for children. DHS also oversees the administration of Medicaid, welfare and other social benefits. It provides social services for roughly one of every eight people in New Jersey.

The Department of Health and Senior Services oversees all aspects of public health services. It is responsible for oversight of health care institutions, managed care companies, hospital financing, public health and environmental laboratory services, senior services, health care policy and research, minority and multi-cultural health and preparedness for and response to all health-related aspects of terrorism.