Portland has appointed Kristen Dow to be the director of the city’s Health and Human Services Department.

Kristen Dow Photo courtesy of the City of Portland

Dow has been serving as the interim director since February, following the resignation of Dawn Stiles. The Health and Human Services Department oversees the City’s Social Services division, Public Health, Elder Services, and the Barron Center, the city’s long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility.

City Manager Jon Jennings recommended that Dow be made the permanent director and the City Council approved the choice Monday on an emergency basis, which means she can assume to post immediately.

“I tapped Kristen to fill the interim role because I was impressed with her expertise and leadership skills, and have been thoroughly impressed with how she jumped in during a very busy time to get up to speed on a number of high profile and challenging issues,” City Manager Jon Jennings said in a news release. “I’m delighted that we were able to tap an internal candidate to fulfill this crucial role.”

Dow served as the city’s Chronic Disease Prevention and India Street Clinic Program Manager within the Public Health Division for the last three years. During the preceding 11 years, she served in a variety of roles within HHS and Public Health. She also spent a year at MaineGeneral Health.

Dow holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Michael’s College and is working toward a master degree in public health at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service.

Dow will earn $116,691 a year.

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