Governor Reeves announces two new department heads
Andrea Sanders (Left) & Chris Wells (Right). Photos courtesy of Gov. Reeves’ Office

This week, Governor Tate Reeves has announced the selection of new leaders for the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services and the Department of Environmental Quality. 

Andrea Sanders has been chosen to lead CPS as its next Commissioner after she played a key role in reforming the Department of Human Services as its Principal Deputy Executive Director. 

“Not only has Andrea served with integrity and devotion in this field for many decades, she brings powerful personal experience to the job. Andrea was adopted into a loving Mississippi family as an infant. She is not only a leader in the effort to look after Mississippi’s children, she is a testament to the unlimited potential of every child in the system,” Governor Reeves said. “From her work to provide therapy and care for struggling children as a social worker, to her esteemed legal background, to her efforts to clean up the Mississippi Department of Human Services–there is no one who could be better equipped for the job.”

In her new role, Sanders is looking forward to making a difference for Mississippi’s children. 

“I am honored and excited to take on this task,” said Andrea Sanders. “I know that we have more work to do in order to provide a secure environment and loving home to Mississippi’s children. I’m grateful to Governor Reeves for putting me in this position of trust, and I know that we have many kids out there who are relying on us to get it right. I believe that we can make a difference if we always remember the God-given potential of every child in our state. All must be protected and uplifted.”

A familiar face will lead the MDEQ with Chris Wells being named as the department’s permanent Executive Director after serving on an interim basis since January. 

“Chris is a dedicated public servant who has spent the bulk of his career working for the people of Mississippi. He knows what it means to put their priorities first, and he has been a steady hand in this vital role since I took office. I have the utmost confidence in him, and I know that he will continue to serve the people well,” Governor Reeves said.

In the past, Wells has served as the Chief of Staff at MDEQ for six years, and the Senior Attorney for the department. 

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to protect Mississippi’s air, land, and water. Our mission is to look out for the people of this state, and ensure that we can always be proud of our incredible God-given resources. I’m grateful for the Governor’s trust in me as we serve this state as a team,” Wells said.