With Gerald Gardner moving to the private sector, Gov. Brian Sandoval has named Mike Willden chief of staff.
Willden has been director of the Department of Health and Human Services since July 2001 when he was appointed by Gov. Kenny Guinn. Willden has worked in that department, rising through the ranks, for a total of 41 years.
Gardner has decided to join Resorts World Las Vegas effective July 7.
“Throughout his career at DHHS, Mike has proven himself to be a valuable leader and a strong asset to the state,” said Sandoval in a statement. “I am very pleased he has agreed to join my office and continue serving the people of Nevada in this capacity.”
Human Services is the state’s largest and most complex department with more than 5,000 employees and nearly a third of the state’s total budget.
Sandoval thanked Gardner for his service and hard work, saying he played an important role in workforce and economic development efforts.
Romaine Gilliland, head of Welfare and Supportive Services, has been named HHS director replacing Willden.