Jennifer Read serves as chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), which has approximately 3,400 employees who work across the state to promote and protect the health of the public and environment. She is responsible for resolving issues that cross organizational lines, coordinating decision-making processes, and helping ensure that the agency focuses on the Director’s highest priority initiatives. She also has responsibility for the agency’s strategy and continuous improvement efforts and for managing legislative services, communications, and community affairs.
Prior to assuming her current position in April 2017, Read served as DHEC’s chief communications officer, where she led the agency’s crisis communication and issues management responses to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the historic flooding that struck South Carolina in October 2015. During her tenure as CCO, she also oversaw the first rebranding of the agency in more than 20 years.
Read joined DHEC in December 2010 as a health systems developer in the Bureau of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. She also has served as a program coordinator with the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention division and as the agency’s director of outreach.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Read earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in public administration from College of Charleston.