A longtime Catholic Family & Child Service leader has been picked to head up the Benton-Franklin county human services department.
Linda Robb will start in early July.
Commissioners from the two counties made the selection Wednesday during a bicounty meeting.
Robb, 46, of Richland, said she looks forward to coming on board. "It's a wonderful opportunity to serve the community and be a good steward of the public dollars," she said. "It's going to be a huge opportunity for me to help on a larger level."
Robb has been Catholic Family's local clinical director for 16 years, and before that spent several years with Lourdes Counseling Center.
A Montana native, she holds a master's degree in clinical psychology from Wichita State University. Robb will replace Ed Thornbrugh, who stepped down as human services administrator in March to take a position with Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health.
Thornbrugh was hired as administrator in 2010 after spending about two years as the department's deputy director.
The human services department provides direct services, including through the Crisis Response Unit and the Coordinated Entry System, and also coordinates providing a range of other human services in the area.
Robb's annual salary will be about $85,000.
Commissioners from the two counties praised Robb after Wednesday's meeting.
"We look forward to working with her," said Benton County Commissioner Jim Beaver. "She's got ideas about how to move forward."
Benton County Commissioner Shon Small said they had "several qualified applicants. We're very fortunate to get Ms. Robb" for the position.
Franklin County Commissioner Bob Koch said the strong human services department staff will help Robb hit the ground running.
Benton Commissioner Jerome Delvin and Franklin Commission Brad Peck were absent.
About 40 people applied for the top human services post. Commissioners interviewed three finalists behind closed doors last week.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald