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Eric Friedlander ’84 Accepts Kentucky Cabinet Post

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During Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily coronavirus brief on Monday, May 4th, Beshear announced that Eric Friedlander ‘84 has accepted a job offer as Secretary for Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Friedlander had been serving in the role on an interim basis since December and has now accepted the position on a permanent basis.

A release about the announcement states:

Gov. Beshear said that Friedlander, who has served in an “acting secretary” capacity through the pandemic emergency, has “more than earned the full-time job. He has shown grace in times of great difficulty and he is exactly the kind of person I want to have going forward.”


Serving the public for over three decades, Friedlander has oversight of a recognized national agency serving the health and human services of over four million residents of the commonwealth. Friedlander’s state government tenure – a mix of appointments and acting roles – has also included a stint as Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet for health and Family Services; leadership of the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs; Family Resource and Youth Service Centers; the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, and the Office of the Inspector General.


He led and managed the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and transformation of Kentucky’s healthcare delivery system.


He is the former Chief of Resiliency and Community Services for Louisville Metro Government and was instrumental in helping the City of Louisville earn designation as a Compassionate City. Friedlander’s contributions there helped ready the nation’s 27th-largest city to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from chronic stresses and acute shocks.


He also led the agency responsible for anti-poverty programs, including Neighborhood Place, Meals on Wheels, and other collaborative programs with partners ranging from Metro United Way to the Coalition on the Homeless. 


Friedlander, of Louisville, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.

ABC 36 WTVQ Reports:

Friedlander was appointed acting secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services by Gov. Andy Beshear on Dec. 10, 2019. He has spent 35 years in public service, most of them with CHFS.

He served previously as CHFS deputy secretary in the administration of Gov. Steve Beshear, a position in which he helped lead and manage the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and transformation of Kentucky’s healthcare delivery system.