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Governor Appoints Interim Secretary for Department of Public Safety

Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that Casandra Skinner Hoekstra will serve as Interim Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS).

“Casandra is a talented leader who has dedicated her career to keeping the people of North Carolina safe,” Governor Cooper said. “Her legal background and experience within the Department of Public Safety have prepared her to serve in this role, and I’m grateful she agreed to step up.”

Hoekstra will fill the vacancy created by the departure of Secretary Erik Hooks, who announced his retirement earlier this month and has been nominated to serve as the Deputy Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She most recently served as Chief Deputy Secretary for Administration within NCDPS, overseeing a variety of divisions, including Legislative Affairs, Office of Special Investigations and the Governor’s Crime Commission.

“I am honored and privileged to serve as the Interim Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and continue to support the dedicated men and women of this great agency,” Hoekstra said. “I look forward to our continued efforts to prepare, protect and respond to the hazards faced by North Carolina’s residents and visitors.”

Hoekstra has more than 25 years of legal and government relations experience, previously serving as legislative counsel for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, general counsel for the Department of Public Safety and legislative counsel for Former Governor Michael Easley. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Hoekstra's appointment will be effective August 1, 2021.