State Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, resigned his legislative seat Thursday to take a job as chief medical officer at the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Burke’s resignation less than two months after he won reelection was among several leadership changes in the administration of Gov. Brian Kemp the governor announced Thursday.
Longtime transportation administrator Jannine Miller, currently director of planning at the Georgia Department of Transportation, will become executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA). Kemp also tapped her to head the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (ATL).
The governor also announced that Georgia Corrections Commissioner Tim Ward will join the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. Tyrone Oliver, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, will move over to head the corrections agency.
Burke, a physician, was elected to the Senate in 2012. As chief medical officer at Memorial Hospital and Manor in Bainbridge, he lent his health-care expertise to the Senate as vice chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee and chairman of the Insurance and Labor Committee.
“Senator Burke will bring a wealth of knowledge to the role of chief medical officer,” Kemp said Thursday. “I’m thankful for his willingness to serve in this new capacity for the benefit of all Georgians, including those in our rural communities.”
Burke was elected to a sixth term in the Senate in November, running unopposed in Southwest Georgia’s 11th Senate District.
Kemp has scheduled a special election on Jan. 31 to complete Burke’s unexpired term.
Miller joined the Georgia Department of Transportation as planning director in 2020 after working for the state Department of Economic Development and serving as executive director of GRTA. She also spent time in Washington, D.C., as a senior policy director for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“Jannine will bring an innovative approach and a deep knowledge of the issues facing commuters and those who move Georgia-made products through and beyond Georgia as she steps into these new roles,” Kemp said.
Miller will succeed Chris Tomlinson, who also headed SRTA, GRTA, and the ATL simultaneously before moving to the private sector last May.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.