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Otter names new director to Idaho’s largest agency

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed Russ Barron, deputy director at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, to take over the state’s largest agency.

Otter announced Wednesday Barron will replace outgoing Director Dick Armstrong – who is retiring in June. Armstrong has overseen the Health and Welfare agency since 2006.

Barron has served as the agency’s deputy director since 2014. He’s overseen the agency’s regional directors and previously was the administrator of the Division of Welfare.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Abilene Christian University in Texas and a master’s degree in business administration from Boise State University.

Otter says Barron has played a central role in making sure the Health and Welfare agency is more responsive to the needs of Idahoans.

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