Noem names diocese’s chancellor as new social services leader


PIERRE, SD (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem has named a Catholic administrator as the state’s next secretary of social services.

Noem announced Friday that she has chosen Diocese of Sioux Falls Chancellor Matt Althoff to replace outgoing Social Services Secretary Laurie Gill, the Argus Leader reported. Gill plans to retire on January 8. She has served as the secretary since 2019.

Althoff has served as chancellor for the diocese for the past 13 years. He helped develop Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, which helps the homeless in the Sioux Falls area.

Althoff told Yankton Press & Dakotan in a 2017 interview that he also worked on a $16.2 million restoration project at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Sioux Falls.

She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Notre Dame and a master’s degree in education from the University of Portland. She ran cross country for Notre Dame and told the Press & Dakotan in the 2017 interview that she still ran every day at 4:45 a.m.

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“I don’t run for the distance anymore,” he said then. “I run for time with God.”

He will begin his stage as secretary of social services on January 23.

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