Cecile Young will take over as the Texas Health and Human Services acting executive commissioner June 1.
Young, who has more than 30 years of state service, will oversee the 40,000 employee agency as it prepares for the 2019 legislative session and works to put its procurement and contracting practices in order.
"We know we have challenges and we are focused on finding solutions and fixing the problems. We have a strong foundation because of our staff across the state," Young said. "Our employees are dedicated to helping Texans live better lives, and our job as leaders is to make sure staff have the resources they need to do that."
Young served as the clerk for the conference committee that created the Health and Human Services Commission. She worked at the agency from 2007 to 2011, then returned in 2015 to serve as chief of staff.
Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her chief deputy executive commissioner in June 2015. In this position, she oversees the Medical and Social Services division and the State Operated Facilities divisions, the two divisions charged with directly serving the public.
Young will work closely with former state Sen. Tommy Williams, whom Abbott tapped to guide the system through its current procurement challenges.
"Sen. Williams has been an invaluable guide to us all, and we appreciate the support of Gov. Abbott's office," Young said. "I'm confident we will come through this better, stronger and wiser."
Young will manage the agency while a search is underway to find a successor to former Executive Commissioner Charles Smith, who retired May 31.