by Max Brantley
These state agency heads will stay -- Dr. John Ahlen, president of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority; Claire Bailey, director of the Department of Information Systems; Jessica Caldwell, executive director of the Arkansas Transitional Employment Board; Richard Davies, executive director of Parks and Tourism; and Randy Young, executive director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
News release on jump.
BEEBE NEWS RELEASE
(LITTLE ROCK) – Governor-Elect Mike Beebe announced today five more heads of departments and agencies for the upcoming administration.
Beebe announced his selection of Dr. John Ahlen, president of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority; Claire Bailey, director of the Department of Information Systems; Jessica Caldwell, executive director of the Arkansas Transitional Employment Board; Richard Davies, executive director of Parks and Tourism; and Randy Young, executive director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to continue their service to the state.
“These five men and women have a strong record of leadership in their respective areas and they will be an important part of our team to move the state forward,” Beebe said. “I look forward to working with them.”
Today is Beebe’s third round of agency and department announcements in as many weeks. Beebe continues to meet with more agency and department heads and will continue to announce appointments in weeks to come.
More information on Ahlen, Bailey, Caldwell, Davies and Young follows.
John Ahlen was appointed as president of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority in February of 1984. He spent a year as a Fellow at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked on state and federal technology partnerships. Ahlen has a B.S. in bioengineering and Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before coming to the Authority, he served as assistant director for Science and Technology at the Illinois Legislative Council, where he directed the science policy research activities of the Council’s Science Unit. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
The mission of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority is to bring the benefits of science and advanced technology to the people and state of Arkansas. The Authority uses direct investments or tax incentives to promote a broad range of important, job creating activities, including math and science education, scientific research, technology transfer and development, seed capital investments, knowledge-based-company entrepreneurship and technology extension services to manufacturers.
Claire Bailey was appointed to agency director of the Department of Information Systems (DIS) in March of 2004. In that role, she leads more than 200 professionals responsible for the State of Arkansas' state network, telecommunications services and information systems. Bailey has more than 15 years’ experience in state government, including her role as project manager for Arkansas’ first significant step toward E-government and Streamline Auto Renewal (STAR). She directed DIS' security program efforts, including the establishment of firewall and related security measures. She chaired the Security special interest group for the National Association of Telecommunications and Technology Professionals Serving State Governments. She crurrently serves on the board of Information Network Arkansas (INA).
The DIS mission is to assist customers in accomplishing their goals by providing IT solutions in a reliable, cost effective, and customer oriented manner. The agency is the information technology solutions provider for the State of Arkansas and provides services from telephony and data networking to technical consulting to the public entities that serve Arkansas citizens.
Jessica Caldwell was appointed executive director of the Arkansas Transitional Employment Board in March 2004. Prior to this appointment, Caldwell worked in the governor's office starting in May 2002 as the policy adviser for workforce development issues. While serving on the Governor’s staff, Caldwell moved to the state of Arkansas’ Washington D.C. office in the position of grants coordinator where she helped establish this office. Before joining the governor's staff, Caldwell was the chief of employment services for the Employment Security Department, and has been involved in employment and training programs for more than 25 years. During this time, Caldwell served on the advisory board for the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program which provides summer job experience and educational opportunities for youth.
The Transitional Employment Board oversees the administration of the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Richard Davies was appointed head of the Parks and Tourism department in May 1990. He has worked for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for 33 years. He has served as the executive director of the Department for 16 years. He has been named State Parks Director of the Year by the National Association of State Parks Directors, and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame by both the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and the Arkansas Hospitality Association. Davies was named Arkansan of the Year in 2004 by the Arkansas Broadcasters Association. He received a Presidential appointment in 1998 as vice chair of the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission to make recommendations to the President and Congress on the future of federal reservoirs. Davies also served twenty-seven years in the U.S. Army Reserve, and retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1999.
The mission of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is to enhance the quality of life in Arkansas by promoting, protecting, interpreting and managing the state’s cultural and natural resources.
Randy Young has served as the executive director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission since May of 1985. He previously served as the Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of the Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission from 1975 to 1985. Young is a member and former president of the National Association of State Conservation Agencies. He is a member and former chairman of the Interstate Council on Water Policy. Young is chairman of the State Technical Review Committee and a member of the Arkansas Water Well Construction Commission, Arkansas-White-Red Basins Interagency Committee, Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, Red River Compact Commission and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Compact Commission.
The mission of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission is to manage and protect Arkansas water and land resources for the health, safety and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas.