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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Announces National Search for Next Health and Human Services CEO

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Eric Maher, 402-471-1974




LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that his team has engaged Ford Webb Associates, Inc., a search firm, to lead a national search for the next Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).


“Previously successful national searches have yielded transformative leaders, such as Dr. Courtney Phillips,” said Governor Ricketts.  “As we conduct a search for the next CEO for Health and Human Services, we will be looking for another talented and customer-oriented leader who will help improve the operations of the agency and fulfill the agency’s mission of helping Nebraskans live better lives.”


Ford Webb Associates, Inc. previously assisted with the recruitment of DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips, former Medicaid Director Calder Lynch, and current Medicaid Director Dr. Matthew Van Patton.  Ted Ford Webb of Ford Webb Associates, Inc. has recruited over 100 cabinet members for 49 governors; 250 non-profit chief executives; and Fortune 500, start-up, and mid-sized corporate CEOs.  Previously, Webb had assisted former Nebraska Governor Bob Kerrey in a search for a director position in his cabinet.


Last month, it was announced that the current CEO, Dr. Courtney Phillips, would depart from the State of Nebraska to serve Governor Greg Abbott of Texas as Executive Commissioner for Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  Dr. Phillips’ last day with the State of Nebraska will be October 14, 2018.


The Governor has named DHHS Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel Bo Botelho as the interim CEO until the national search has been concluded. 


The five divisions of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services provide critical services to Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens.