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Posted at 6:14 PM ET, 02/11/2011

Clarence Carter, D.C. human services director, leaves for Arizona job

By Mike DeBonis

clarence_h_carter_photo.jpgThe District's human services director, Clarence H. Carter, is leaving for a job running the State of Arizona's safety net programs.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced Carter's appointment as head of the state Department of Economic Security on Wednesday. Carter returns to a Republican administration three and a half years after being hired from the Bush-era Agriculture Department by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).

"I am proud to welcome Mr. Carter to my administration," Brewer said in a statement [PDF]. "He is an extremely talented leader and innovator, and has extensive cabinet experience on the local, state and federal levels of government. He is a visionary professional with a record of efficiency and management excellence."

Carter was charged with running the city's welfare and homelessness programs in a period when demand for services increased as budgets shrunk. In Arizona, he will face much the same challenge.

"I wish I could promise that the dark clouds have passed, but I would be doing you a disservice," Carter wrote to his new employees, according to the Arizona Capitol Times. "While the national and Arizona economy have slowly begun to turn the corner, the effects of caseload increases and reduced resources will not abate any time soon."

In the District, Carter came under fire as the city's family homeless shelter became overcrowded last year. But he also oversaw an unprecedented and widely lauded effort to provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray's office did not have an immediate comment on Carter's departure; during the transition period, Gray had declined to offer Carter more than an interim appointment. Last week, Gray appointed Beatriz "B.B." Otero as his deputy mayor for health and human services, a position charged with overseeing DHS and coordinating its services with other departments.

By Mike DeBonis  | February 11, 2011; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  The District  
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