South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has nominated Indian-American Seema Shrivastava-Patel to be the next chair of the Board of Health and Environmental Control.
If confirmed, Shrivastava-Patel -- who has served on the Board since 2018 and has been its Vice-Chair since 2021 -- will become the first person of colour and the second woman to lead the Board.
"Shrivastava-Patel is a highly respected member of the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control. With this extensive knowledge of the agency and her experience as Vice-Chair, she is the best choice to lead a smooth transition that will propel the agency forward and advance South Carolina's public health and environmental missions," Governor McMaster said in a statement.
As a member of the Board, Shrivastava-Patel has helped navigate the agency through the Covid-19 pandemic, led the search for a new agency director, improved customer service, renewed a focus on recruitment and retention of staff, and emphasised the importance of measurable outcomes for the agency.
She has an extensive business background that includes a 20-year career in the convenience and food service industry, and as president of the Carolina Convenience Corporation.
"I am grateful to Governor McMaster for entrusting me with the opportunity to serve as the next Chair and look forward to working with my colleagues, as well as a team of talented and dedicated employees, to continue to move the agency forward for the people of South Carolina," said Shirvastava-Patel.
The Board oversees the operations of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
The at-large seat on the Board was left vacant when former Chair Robert Bolchoz resigned from the position in December.
Shrivastava-Patel is a University of South Carolina graduate and resides in Lexington with her husband and two children. She is a first-generation American of Indian heritage.
The governor's appointment is subject to Senate approval.