Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Ann Silverberg Williamson was confirmed as executive director of Utah Department of Human Services by unanimous vote of the Utah Senate on Wednesday.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to confirm the nomination of Ann Silverberg Williamson as executive director of state Department of Human Services.

Williamson, a veteran human services and nonprofit administrator from Louisiana, succeeds Palmer DePaulis, who recently retired from the position after serving more than 30 years in public life.

Addressing the Senate following its confirmation vote, Williamson vowed to commit her “heart, spirit and every skill” into the leadership position. The department, which employs more than 4,000 people, provides direct and contracted services to state’s most vulnerable children, families and adults.

“I’m thrilled to join the men and women of this department. They are public servants to the core and everyday heroes,” she said.

Prior to accepting Gov. Gary Herbert’s nomination, Williamson was president and chief executive officer of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations in Baton Rouge, La.

Williamson worked her way up the ranks of Louisiana Department of Social Services before being appointed Cabinet secretary of the department in 2004. In that position, she oversaw 5,000 employees. Williamson has served Republican and Democratic governors, resigning in 2008.

Williamson earned a master’s degree in social work from Louisiana State University and received a bachelor's degree in theology from Wofford College.

She and her husband, Tyler, are the parents of three elementary school-age children.

— Marjorie Cortez