News and Events
PROVIDENCE, RI - Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea today announced the appointment of Lammis J. Vargas as Deputy Secretary of State/Director of Administration. Vargas will be responsible for leading the Department of State's administrative functions including the divisions of Business Services, Elections, Personnel and Finance, Public Information, the State Archives, and the State Library.
Vargas comes to the Secretary of State's Office from the Rhode Island Treasury, where she served for nearly seven years as the Director of Unclaimed Property, and most recently as a Deputy Treasurer while continuing her oversight of Unclaimed Property. Vargas was responsible for the overhaul of the Unclaimed Property Division and the improvement of its services to Rhode Islanders. Under her leadership and dedication, the team returned millions of dollars to over 100,000 people during her tenure, bringing national recognition to the Treasury and specifically the Unclaimed Property Division.
Vargas' experience also includes serving as the Program Coordinator for the Government & Policy Program at Roger Williams University, and she brings a wealth of invaluable municipal and federal government experience to the Deputy Secretary of State position.
"I am thrilled to welcome Lammis to our team," Secretary Gorbea said. "She brings over a decade of experience in administrative management and public service. I'm confident she will build on the momentum within each of the divisions at the Department of State and help move Rhode Island forward by making government work for everyone."
"I am excited to continue my commitment to public service in this new role that has elevated me to Deputy Secretary of State/Director of Administration in Secretary Gorbea's office," said Vargas. "I am looking forward to joining the senior leadership team and utilizing my skills and experiences to continue making government accessible for all. Thank you to Treasurer Magaziner and my staff for providing me with the opportunity to serve the residents of Rhode Island through the Treasury Department. It's been an honor."
Vargas succeeds outgoing Deputy Secretary of State/Director of Administration Melissa Husband, who has served in the role since 2017 and is leaving to return to the nonprofit sector.
"I want to thank Melissa Husband for her outstanding service as my Deputy Secretary for the last several years," Gorbea said. "Melissa's leadership helped transform the delivery of services to Rhode Islanders, especially for small businesses across the state. I know she will bring the same commitment of public service to her new role, and Rhode Islanders will continue to benefit from her expertise."
"While I have a mix of emotions as I move on to the next chapter of my career, I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish during my four years as Deputy Secretary," Husband said. "I give my deepest gratitude to Secretary Gorbea for trusting me to work alongside her and the Department of State's employees to guide the impactful work of the Department with true passion and integrity. I am excited to carry the lessons learned in my public service into a new role that will continue my purpose of improving Rhode Island communities."
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