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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s COO joining Trump administration

(AP and Cronkite News photos)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s chief operating officer has decided to join President Donald Trump’s administration, Ducey’s office said Wednesday.

In a release, Ducey’s office said Henry Darwin had accepted the COO position at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

“I thank [Darwin] for his many years of service to my administration and the state and people of Arizona,” Ducey said in the release.

Darwin took over the state’s social services agency in November after then-Director Jim Jeffries was fired. He returned to his job as Ducey’s COO last month, when Department of Housing Director Michael Trailor took over the agency.

Darwin had worked in Ducey’s administration since 2015. Prior to that, he was the director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

“[Darwin] has been an exceptional leader who has spearheaded our efforts to create a more efficient, responsive, and effective government,” Ducey said. “I’m glad to see him take that talent to the federal level.

“We wish him all the best in his new role serving our country at one of its highest levels.”

Under Darwin, the state implemented the Arizona Management System, which encouraged employees to establish results-driven measures in government. The program led to decreased DMV wait times and improvements in the Department of Child Safety.

Darwin will finish out the month with Ducey’s office.

A search for his replacement was under way.

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