LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local judge will soon be elevated to a higher position with Arkansas’ new governor.

Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday announced her intention to nominate outgoing Washington County Judge Joseph Wood as the Secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services.

According to a press release from Sanders, Judge Wood shares her same enthusiasm for “shrinking the size and scope of government by identifying efficiencies and bold reforms to reduce budgets, saving money, and providing better services to the hardworking men and women of Arkansas.”

“The leadership and work he has done in one of our largest counties to ensure government performs better makes him a natural choice to serve as Secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services in my administration,” said Sanders.

Wood is completing his second term as county judge, which is the third largest county in Arkansas. He was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018.

The release says Wood has developed and improved county buildings, roads, and bridges, created a crisis stabilization unit, presided over the quorum court, managed budgets, driven efficiencies in overall county government operations, and led 3,100 counties in the country as Chair of Community Economic and Workforce Development for National Association of Counties.

He has also served on the Veterans & Military Services Committee and the Broadband Task Force and Advisory Committee for the National Association of Counties.

Prior to public service, the release notes Wood was head of International Recruitment for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and previously served as Assistant Director of Recruitment for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

I am not shy about my desire to serve the state of Arkansas and to help make it a place where businesses grow, families move to, and government stays out of the way. That’s exactly what we have done in Washington County during my tenure as County Judge, and I am humbled by the confidence Governor-elect Sanders has in me to ask that I take on this critical work. Citizens expect their government to work for them and that’s exactly what we are going to make happen.

Judge Wood

He and his wife June have three daughters: Paris, Loren J’la, and Candace, and enjoy their two grandsons Brian and Joey.