Estelle B. Richman is the former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, a position she held from 2003 to 2009. She earned her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1965 and her master’s degree from Cleveland State University in 1978.
She resigned her post on December 31, 2009 to take a position as chief operating officer of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Richman began her job at HUD on Jan. 4, 2010.
As Welfare Secretary, Richman oversaw agency efforts that resulted in an increased percentage of foster children finding permanent homes, a drop in the waiting list for mental-retardation services, improved child-support collection programs, and the creation of the state’s first Bureau of Autism. Prior to her job with the state Public Welfare Department, Richman held several offices in Philadelphia, including Managing Director, Director of Social Services, Commissioner of Public Health, and Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.