Another top member of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration has resigned. Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon is leaving January 7th for a position in the private sector.
Joan Adams, Department of Health Administration division director for the last 11 years, will serve as Interim Secretary
In announcing Malsam-Rysdon’s resignation, Noem called her “a steady hand” whose help and partnership during unprecedented times were appreciated as she helped steer South Dakota’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Malsam-Rysdon oversaw the state’s testing and vaccination efforts, as well as its public health communications.
She was already Secretary of Health when Noem took office in 2019, having been appointed to the post by then-Gov Dennis Daugaard in 2015.
She’d also worked for Daugaard as a senior advisor and had been Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Social Services as well as Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities division director in Human Services.
Malsam-Rysdon’s departure is the latest in a string of exits from the governor’s staff. In just the last few weeks Noem lost her chief of finance and replaced her chief of staff – the third time in less than 3 years her chief of staff has left.