Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Friday she plans to nominate Washington County Judge Joseph Wood as secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services.
Sanders said Wood shares her enthusiasm for shrinking the size and scope of government.
“The leadership and work he has done in one of our largest counties to ensure government performs better makes him a natural choice to serve as Secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services in my administration,” Sanders said in a statement.
Wood, 57, will replace Mitch Rouse, who was appointed to the position by Asa Hutchinson in July 2022.
Wood has just completed his second term as county judge. He was one of six candidates in the Republican primary who hoped to succeed Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who was elected attorney general in November. Wood lost the May primary to Leslie Rutledge, who was attorney general at the time.
“I am not shy about my desire to serve the state of Arkansas and to help make it a place where businesses grow, families move to, and government stays out of the way,” Wood said. “That’s exactly what we have done in Washington County during my tenure as county judge, and I am humbled by the confidence Governor-elect Sanders has in me to ask that I take on this critical work.
“Citizens expect their government to work for them and that’s exactly what we are going to make happen.”
Wood has served on the Veterans & Military Services Committee, the Broadband Task Force and Advisory Committee for the National Association of Counties.
Prior to public service, Wood was head of international recruitment for Walmart and previously served as assistant director of recruitment for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.