Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson has named Larry Walther as the new director of the Department of Finance & Administration.
Walther was a member of the board of directors for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. He was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position on July 21, 2011, confirmed on Nov. 1, 2011, and served until Jan. 20, 2013.
Before that, Walther was director of the U.S. Trade & Development Agency, and also director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development under Gov. Mike Huckabee. He also worked for SBC Communications, now AT&T, including a stint as vice president for corporate services and chairman of the SBC Foundation.
"The breadth of experience [Walther] has gathered over the course of his career, along with his institutional knowledge of state government have prepared him for this new role, and I have no doubt he will represent our state and this department well," Hutchinson said in a statement.
Walther will replace Richard Weiss, who will retire at the end of Gov. Mike Beebe's term. Weiss served as director of the department under three governors. His first stint was from 1994 to 1999, and again from 2002 to present.
Other Agency Director Appointments
On Friday, Hutchinson also announced the following appointments:
- Jami Cook — Director of Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards
- State Sen. Bruce Holland — Director of the Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission
- Joe Fox — Retained as state forester at the Arkansas Forestry Commission
Cook has been the program director for the Arkansas State Police for 10 years. She was appointed as a commissioner to the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards & Training in 2009.
"[Cook] has the knowledge, experience and management capabilities necessary to lead the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement & Training as its new director," Hutchinson said in a statement. "I am confident in her abilities and know she will make Arkansas and our law enforcement community proud."
Cook will replace Ken Jones, who was appointed to the position in by Beebe in 2011.
Holland has been a full-time cattleman since 2005. He elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2010. Holland won a race for District 9 in 2012, and was defeated by Terry Rice in a 2014 primary.
"[Holland's] background in animal agriculture and experience in the Legislature have prepared him for this new opportunity as the new director of the Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission," Hutchinson said.
Holland will replace Preston Scroggin, who was appointed to the position by Beebe in 2013.
Hutchinson retained Fox, the state forester since 2012, to the position. Prior to his current role, Fox was director of Conservation Forestry for the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas for 12 years.
"[Fox] has done an outstanding job in his current role as state forester for the Arkansas Forestry Commission," Hutchinson said. "His expertise in this field makes him the ideal choice, and I am pleased to announce that he will continue as state forester in my administration."