NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen to step down; Wilmington native selected to lead department

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:24 AM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, is stepping down, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.

Kody Kinsley, a Wilmington native and the current NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Health, will succeed her beginning Jan. 1.

“Mandy Cohen has shown extraordinary leadership during her tenure and she has worked every day during this pandemic to help keep North Carolinians healthy and safe,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “We are stronger because of her efforts and I am enormously grateful for her service. She has built a remarkable team of talented people including Kody Kinsley, and I know he will continue the strong legacy of competence, effectiveness and efficiency as he takes over as Secretary.”

Cohen, an internal medicine physician, was appointed by Gov. Cooper in January of 2017. She has led the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve this state at such an important moment in history,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen. “I am grateful for Governor Cooper’s leadership, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished to improve the health and well-being of the state over the last five years. There is much work still to do, and I am so pleased the Governor selected Kody Kinsley to take the baton to run the next leg of this race.”

Kody H. Kinsley
Kody H. Kinsley(NCDHHS)

Kinsley has been with the NCDHHS for nearly four years.

“Kinsley returned home to North Carolina after serving as the presidentially appointed Assistant Secretary for Management at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where he led operations and finances for the cabinet-level agency, a position he held during both the Obama and Trump Administrations. He has also held roles at the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” a news release from the governor’s office states. ”Kinsley is a recipient of SEANC’s Unsung Hero Award, the Alexander Hamilton Award, and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brevard College in Brevard, NC and a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School at the University of California at Berkeley.”

Kinsley will be the first openly gay cabinet Secretary in North Carolina history, the news release states.

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