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Lynne Valenti To Lead Department Of Social Services


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced that he will name Lynne Valenti of Pierre as the Secretary of the Department of Social Services.

Valenti is currently the department’s deputy secretary. She will replace Kim Malsam-Rysdon, who is leaving the position to join the Governor’s Office as senior advisor. Valenti’s appointment is effective Feb. 24.

“Lynne Valenti will be a strong leader for state government’s largest department,” said Gov. Daugaard. “This department protects our children, serves those with behavioral problems and offers a helping hand those who need it. Lynne cares deeply about that important mission.”

Valenti joined state government in 1998 as legal counsel for the Department of Human Services. In 2007, she joined the Bureau of Personnel (now the Bureau of Human Resources) as legal counsel. Valenti has been the Department of Social Services’ deputy secretary since 2011.

“I am humbled by the Governor’s request to serve,” said Valenti. “I will work diligently to assist South Dakota families to receive the services they need to be safe and successful, and to continue to advance the standard of excellence embodied each day by our dedicated staff.”

Valenti is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the New England School of Law. She and her husband, Mike, have 4 children.