Justice Taps Gayle Manchin, Consultant to Run Agencies

Joe and Gayle Manchin

Gov.-elect Jim Justice has chosen former State Board of Education member and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s wife Gayle Manchin to head his Department of Education and the Arts, and an energy industry consultant to head West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Gayle Manchin was on the state Board of Education from 2007 to 2015.

She will head a department that oversees state cultural programs, public broadcasting, volunteer services, teaching and library support and vocational programs for the disabled.

Her husband, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., issued this statement in response to his wife’s appointment:

“I am incredibly proud that my wife Gayle has been appointed as West Virginia Secretary of Education & the Arts. Nobody is more proud of our West Virginia heritage than Gayle Manchin. In this role, she will encourage all West Virginians to embrace the rich culture and educational and artistic history our state has. Gayle has dedicated her entire life to public service and education in West Virginia and I know that she will bring that same passion and commitment to her new role.”

The Manchins’ daughter is Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, who came under fire last year over the rising cost of its anti-allergy EpiPen autoinjector.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting is run by an independent board of directors. For administrative purposes, it is part of the Department of Education and the Arts.

Justice’s pick to lead the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is Austin Caperton

He is president of Caperton Inc. and has been vice chairman of the West Virginia Public Energy Authority.

He is cousin of former Democratic Gov. Gaston Caperton.

Justice, an outdoorsman who owns coal mines, says Caperton has the management experience to make the agency run efficiently.

The department handles mining and drilling licensing, pollution cleanups and environmental protection.