Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced interim commissioners to lead the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams and DWD Commissioner Steve Braun resign their service to the state this week.
“Indiana benefited from two strong state agency leaders who served Hoosiers well, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” Gov. Holcomb said. “I’ve appointed two interim commissioners with the skills and experience necessary to ensure these agencies maintain great government service until I name full-time replacements.”
Beginning Sept. 2, ISDH Deputy Health Commissioner and State Epidemiologist Pam Pontones will serve as interim ISDH Commissioner. On Sept. 5, Dr. Jerome Adams will be sworn in as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He has served as Indiana’s health commissioner for nearly three years under the leadership of two Indiana governors.
Pam Pontones has served ISDH for more than 26 years and has been the state’s epidemiologist since 2009. In February this year, she was appointed by Dr. Adams to serve as deputy state health commissioner, assuming oversight for the Office of Public Health Performance Management and the agency’s quality improvement efforts.
Effective Aug. 31, DWD Chief Operations Officer Regina Ashley will serve as interim DWD Commissioner. Current Workforce Development Commissioner Steve Braun has led DWD since 2014 under two Indiana governors. Before that, he served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2012 to 2014 and was an entrepreneur in tech, real estate and agriculture.
Regina Ashley has served DWD in various roles since 2015, including executive director of the State Workforce Innovation Council, chief strategy officer and chief operations officer. From 2007 to 2015, she was deputy director for the state’s Department of Child Services.
Gov. Holcomb will announce new appointments to lead ISDH and DWD in the weeks ahead.