The Senate of the state of South Carolina confirmed the appointment of Seema Shrivastava Patel, as the chairwoman of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), an official statement noted. She is the first person of colour to assume office as the chairperson of the board.
Nominated by Governor Henry McMaster, Patel has served the DHEC board since 2018. Reacting to her appointment, she said, “This honour to serve as chairwoman would not be possible without the support of my family, and the confidence placed in me by Governor McMaster and the South Carolina Senate to lead the board. I am proud to continue to serve alongside our state’s leading subject matter experts as we work together to provide a healthier future for every South Carolinian.”
DHEC director Dr Edward Simmer said that Patel is a highly respected board member and is an outstanding leader who has great business acumen. "This, along with her 20-year career in the convenience and food service industry, make her a perfect choice to propel the agency forward. I look forward to our continued work together to advance DHEC’s mission to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians," he added.
Since 2017, Patel served as president of Carolina Convenience Corporation (CCC). She has been the president of the South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores and a board member of the South Carolina Petroleum Marketer Association, Columbia Museum of Art, and the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion Foundation. A native of Columbia, Patel completed her bachelor's degree in marketing and human resources from the University of South Carolina, specializing in international business.
Sharing the priorities in her new role, Patel added, "In my new role as chairwoman, I am committed to leading by the strong example they have laid as I work with members of the agency’s board, staff and leaders across the state to ensure access to quality health and environmental services."