Russ Barron named to succeed Director Armstrong at Idaho Health and Welfare

(Boise) — Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Russ Barron, deputy director and a longtime administrator at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, to become director of the State’s largest agency with the previously announced June 30 retirement of Director Richard Armstrong.

Russ Barron

Russ Barron

Barron, who lives in Emmett, has been deputy director since April 2014, overseeing Health and Welfare’s regional directors and the divisions of Welfare and Family and Community Services. He previously was Division of Welfare administrator, statewide program manager for the Child Support Program, Child Support policy manager, financial institution data match coordinator for the Child Support Program, and a self-reliance specialist for the Child Support Program. 

Before coming to Idaho, Barron worked for the Missouri Department of Labor’s Division of Employment Security and the Texas Department of Human Resources. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Abilene Christian University in Texas, and a master’s degree in business administration from Boise State University.

“Russ has a stellar record of achievement and progress throughout his career in state government. Most importantly, he has never lost sight of the properly limited role of government in the lives of all our citizens, including human services recipients,” Governor Otter said. “He has played a central role in helping Health and Welfare run better, leaner and more responsively for the people it serves – as well as taxpayers. I expect him to continue that kind of service to the people of Idaho in this new and expanded role.”

Barron and his wife Michelle have two sons and two daughters.

“It is an honor to be appointed to serve Governor Otter and the State of Idaho as the next director of the Department of Health and Welfare, whose mission is to promote and protect the health and safety of Idahoans,” Barron said. “The department has made great strides in delivering meaningful services efficiently and effectively under the direction of Dick Armstrong, and I’m looking forward to working with the department’s employees, partners, and stakeholders to continue that success.”

CONTACT:  Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100

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