Missouri now has a new director at the Department of Health and Senior Services.

“The DHS director, has always had a critical and important position in the State of Missouri. The position is tasked with protecting the health and well being of Missourians” says Governor Mike Parson, “after interviewing multiple highly qualified candidates, we narrowed the search to a couple of finalists. I am announced, Don Kauerauf, as the new director of the DHSS.”

Donald Kauerauf will replace Dr. Randal Williams, who resigned in April.

Kauerauf previously served in multiple roles in Illinois, including Assistant Director of the Department of Public Health and the Chair of the Terrorism Task Force.


***Additional Info:

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Today during a press conference at the State Capitol, Governor Mike Parson announced that he has selected Donald G. Kauerauf to be the next Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, effective September 1, 2021.

“We are excited to welcome Don to Missouri and look forward to the great work he is sure to accomplish in service to all Missourians,” Governor Parson said. “Don is no stranger to state government and has more than 30 years of experience in public health and emergency management with the state of Illinois. It is obvious that he has a firm grasp on public health issues and the COVID-19 crisis, and we are confident in his ability to lead DHSS.”

Mr. Kauerauf served as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2016 until his retirement in 2018. More recently, he was selected to Chair the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and has served in that capacity throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In his position as Chair of the Terrorism Task Force, Mr. Kauerauf also served as Deputy to the Illinois Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor and Policy Advisor to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director.

Mr. Kauerauf has more than 30 years of experience in state government and has served in various senior leadership positions in public health and emergency management. During his time with the Illinois Department of Public Health, he developed a statewide structure to improve communication between the Department and local public health agencies and directed the development and implementation of the nation’s first statewide pandemic influenza exercise, among other accomplishments.

“It is an honor to be appointed by the Governor as the new Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services,” Mr. Kauerauf said. “I’m looking forward to working with public health agencies, healthcare providers, and communities to build upon the great work that has been initiated in Missouri to address the current COVID-19 situation. At the same time, I’ll work to make available critical preventative programs and services to increase the health and safety of all Missourians.”

Mr. Kauerauf holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational safety and health from Illinois State University.

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