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Graham leaving Alabama State Personnel Department after nearly 20 years at helm

The Alabama State Personnel Department has a new leader after nearly 20 years.

Jackie Graham told the five-member State Personnel Board on Wednesday she was stepping down. She’s been with the department since 1986 and director since 2005.

The board immediately voted to make Laury Morgan the new director. Morgan was previously the deputy director and has nearly 20 years of experience with the agency that identifies qualified job applicants for state employment, helps departments fill vacancies and maintains employee classification systems and pay scales.

Graham on Thursday told Alabama Daily News she will stay with the department for a short transition period.

“I have truly been blessed to work for the State Personnel Department for over 37 years,” Graham said. “It has been an honor to work with so many wonderful board members, public officials and dedicated state employees. I will forever be grateful to so many who have helped me along the way.”

As director, Graham often interacted with state lawmakers, including Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, who previously chaired the Senate General Fund budget committee.

“Jackie served our state well,” Orr told ADN. “She believed in our state merit system and that it be fair to all. But when agencies tried to circumvent it or employees tried to game it, she would put a stop to it as best she could. It was truly an honor to work closely with someone who always tried to do the right thing… even when bullied or pushed by those wanting special treatment for themselves or their agencies.”

Morgan on Thursday said it was an honor to succeed Graham.

“She has been an incredible steward for the state of Alabama and has worked tirelessly for many years for all state employees,” Morgan said. “I am grateful to the State Personnel Board for trusting me with this tremendous opportunity to continue Jackie’s legacy and service to the State.”

In her new role, Morgan will also sit on the Employees’ Retirement System Board of Control.

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