DHS Executive Director DePaulis Announces Retirement

Long-Time Public Servant and Community Advocate Served in State and Local Government

SALT LAKE CITY – With a distinguished public service career spanning thirty years, Executive Director of the Utah Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Palmer DePaulis announced his retirement today. The Governor praised DePaulis for both his service and his character.
“I am deeply, personally grateful for Palmer’s outstanding service in my cabinet, both at Human Services, as well as Community and Culture,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Palmer serves with heart and passion, understanding the community while caring about the individual.  He is a powerful advocate for Utah’s most vulnerable-the homeless, in particular-and has initiated a thoughtful and innovative ‘System of Care’ approach at DHS, providing individualized, culturally-responsive services to children and families.”

“It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work with and serve the citizens of Utah,” said DePaulis. “Retiring is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. I do so with a great sense of accomplishment and appreciation to the many amazing people I have encountered along the way. I look forward to this new chapter in my life and look back to this last chapter with great pride.”

DePaulis’ public service career started in 1983 with Salt Lake City where he served as public works director for 18 months before he became the city’s 31st mayor in 1985, serving for seven years and overseeing the restoration and base isolation of the iconic Salt Lake City and County Building.  

In 1993, DePaulis accepted a staff post with former Attorney General Jan Graham. He then served as a Utah State Tax Commissioner under governors Mike Leavitt and Jon Huntsman, Jr.  In 2005 Governor Huntsman asked DePaulis to serve in his cabinet as executive director of the Dept. of Community and Culture (now the Dept. of Heritage and Arts).  He was appointed in 2010 executive director of Dept. of Human Services by Governor Gary R. Herbert.

As executive director of Department of Human Services, DePaulis is responsible for the administration and supervision of more than 4,000 employees dedicated to providing support and services to Utah’s most vulnerable children, families and adults. As a cabinet member, he has chaired several committees related to social services, refugees, and homelessness.

A national search for a new DHS executive director will commence immediately and DePaulis will remain in his position until the Governor names a replacement.