ODJFS director announces resignation

State News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The director of Ohio’s department that handles, among other things, dispersing unemployment payments, is leaving next week.

Kimberly Henderson, director of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, recently got married and is relocating to North Carolina, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced during a Monday briefing.

Henderson is scheduled to leave the post next Monday, March 8, at which time, Matthew Damschroder, the director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, will step into the post as interim director. Henderson will stay on as a senior advisor to Damschroder until April 30.

Henderson was appointed to ODJFS in January 2019, formerly serving as senior vice president of administration and general counsel at Columbus State Community College.

Under Henderson’s watch, ODJFS has struggled in the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions of Ohioans lost their jobs.

Website and hotline issues last spring had Ohioans waiting weeks to sign up for unemployment relief, and just last week, Henderson announced the agency identified $330 million in overpaid unemployment benefits due to fraud. She said the amount of potentially fraudulent claims that were flagged before they were paid out could be nearly double.

“It’s truly been an honor to serve on your cabinet and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to lead such a talented and committed team at ODJFS,” Henderson said Monday.

DeWine, who said Henderson worked with him while he was attorney general, thanked her for her service within his cabinet.

DeWine said the state will conduct a nationwide search for Henderson’s permanent replacement.

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