Dr. Maha Younes
Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work, 308.865.8741

A 1994 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney Social Work Program, Nancy Montanez of Potter, has been appointed director of Nebraska Health and Human Services (HHS).

In announcing the appointment, Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns said: “I’m pleased that Nancy has accepted the HHS
directorship and am eager to begin working with her in this new capacity. She brings to the table extensive knowledge about the HHS system, tremendous enthusiasm and a positive vision for the future.”

Montanez said, “I want to thank Governor Johanns for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Nebraska as HHS director. One of the main things I have learned in my work in human services is that systems of care should produce real and lasting results for people in need of services. I’m eager to continue my work to that end in my new position.”

Dr. Maha Younes, UNK Social Work Program director, noted: “This appointment is a wonderful tribute to our program and
university. Nancy Montanez is a highly capable individual who will make all of us proud. This is definitely a good day for all of us and a step in the right direction for Nebraska.”

Montanez, 43, has worked as the HHS Western Service Area CEO in Gering since 2001 where she has led in the development, implementation and monitoring of agency programs and policies. From 1999-2001, she was a service area administrator for HHS in Gering. Before that, Montanez worked in the Professional Partner Program at Region III Behavioral Health Services in Kearney from 1995-1999. In addition to her work experience, Montanez has served on the UNK College of Natural and Social Sciences Advisory Board.

As the newly appointed HHS director, she fills the vacancy left by Ron Ross, who was sworn-in as State Treasurer in January. Dr. Richard Raymond, the state’s chief medical officer, has served as interim director since that time.

Her salary has been set at $100,500.