Rechtenbaugh appointed as permanent Secretary of Dept. of Human Services

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Gov. Kristi Noem announced that Shawnie Rechtenbaugh has been appointed as the permanent Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS).


Rechtenbaugh has been serving as the interim secretary since January 2019.

“I’m pleased that Shawnie as agreed to serve in this role on a permanent basis,” said Noem. “Shawnie has the heart to serve our citizens and the vision to lead this department. Long-term care is a critical issue right now, among many others, and I’m glad to have Shawnie as part of my team as we move forward.”

“It is an honor to work for Gov. Noem and serve the great people of South Dakota,” Rechtenbaugh said. “Returning to the DHS is an exciting opportunity.  I look forward to working with our dedicated providers and department staff to improve services to our citizens living with a disability and those with long-term care needs.”

Since 2006, Rechtenbaugh has served the citizens of South Dakota.  Initially, she started her career as the state prevention coordinator for DHS.

Before joining the Noem Administration, Rechtenbaugh served at the Department of Public Safety as the State 9-1-1 Coordinator where she received the Government Leader Award from the NextGen 9-1-1 Institute for her leadership in advancing the state’s 9-1-1 system. She was then promoted to deputy secretary and finally interim secretary of Public Safety.

A Mobridge native, Rechtenbaugh is a graduate of Northern State University, holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and received her Government Leadership Excellence certificate through the University of South Dakota. She and her husband, Scott, reside in Pierre and have two daughters.