Aug. 28—Boulder County's new director of Housing and Human Services may look familiar.
That's because for the last year Susan Caskey has served as co-interim director, as well as interim director, of the county's largest department.
On Tuesday, the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners appointed Caskey to lead Housing and Human Services — a department that consists of 500 full- and part-time employees and connects over 90,000 people to wrap-around services each year.
The department regularly assists children, families and older adults who are in need with food, housing and health coverage along with other essential goods and services.
"It's a dream job for me," Caskey said in an interview Friday, which was also her first official day on the job.
"There's a couple of priority areas that we've been working on. One of them is the staff recruitment and retention piece," Caskey said. "We've made some progress in that area, and I think continuing to make sure that we have a stable workforce is critical for us."
Caskey has lived in Boulder County for 21 years and has worked for the county's Housing and Human Services department since 2015 when Integrated Managed Partnership for Adolescent and Child Community Treatment merged with the county. At the time, Caskey was IMPACT's director, a position she had held since 2009.
Prior to IMPACT, Caskey worked for Community Justice Services and for several nonprofits, including Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, where she coordinated and co-facilitated the organization's anti-racism training.
"We are also doing a lot of work around addressing racial equity and really wanting to integrate racial equity into all the work we're doing," Caskey said. "Really start to connect with communities that maybe have been underserved historically by our systems ... and that includes communities of color."
In a news release issued Thursday, Boulder County Commissioner Matt Jones said that Caskey had the experience necessary to take on the director role and was confident that she was the right person for the job.
Twenty people applied for the Housing and Human Services director position. Caskey will earn $190,000 annually.
"As interim director, (Caskey) has repeatedly exemplified the leadership, focus and compassion needed to successfully lead a department that delivers so many essential services that are crucial for the health and well-being of so many county residents," Jones said.
After serving in the position for less than a year, former Boulder County Housing and Human Services Director Robert Williams resigned in 2021.
Prior to Williams, Frank Alexander held the position for roughly 12 years and was employed with the county for 22 years.
"A big part of why I was really interested in this job is the collaborative nature of the work," Caskey said. "And so, I'm really excited about that piece of it as well."