Office of the Secretary
Deputy Secretary Mary Jane Pickens
Effective January 19, 2017, Mary Jane Pickens was appointed Deputy Secretary for the
Department of Administration, while retaining her role as Executive Director of the Board of Risk and Insurance Management (BRIM). Prior to this role, she served as Acting Cabinet Secretary for the Department from February 10, 2016, to January 15, 2017.
Pickens' public service began in 2001 as a staff attorney for the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner. In 2003, she served as General Counsel for the Commissioner, before moving to Spilman, Thomas & Battle in the Government Relations and Regulatory Compliance Practice Group in 2011. She began working for BRIM in 2014. Prior to public service, Pickens worked in private legal practice.
A native of West Virginia, she graduated from West Virginia University in 1982 and earned her law degree from Ohio Northern university in 1985.
Effective November 7, 2017, Sarah Long was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for the Department of Administration. A Certified Public Accountant, Long has spent many years in the public sector. A native Charlestonian, she went to Charleston Catholic High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College in 1993, double majoring in Accounting and Management.
Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary Sarah Long
Upon graduation, Long worked in the private sector at a national "Big Four" accounting firm specializing in auditing governmental agencies, including the overall audit of the State of West Virginia. She began her public service career as a financial consultant for the Finance Division where she served as Interim Chief Financial Office for the Public Employees Insurance Agency. She then became Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Board of Risk and Insurance Management. She most recently served several years as Deputy Treasurer for the State Treasurer, overseeing the cash management function for the State of West Virginia.
Robert Paulson was appointed General Counsel for the Department of Administration in September 2009. Prior to his appointment, he was an attorney in private practice at a prominent firm in Charleston, WV, and served as Assistant General Counsel for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
Mr. Paulson is a native of Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1989 and a master’s degree from Georgetown University in 1994. He received the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2002, Order of the Barristers.
Mr. Paulson was admitted to practice law by the West State Bar in September 2002, and is admitted to practice before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Deputy General Counsel & Legislative Liaison
Jennelle Jones was appointed Deputy General Counsel & Legislative Liaison of the Department of Administration on May 18, 2015. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Medical Services.
Ms. Jones also served as co-counsel to the Committee on Finance and various minor committees in the House of Delegates from June 2008 through March 2015 and worked as an attorney for the State Tax Division from July 2006 to June 2008, primarily representing the agency in bankruptcy proceedings. She also has experience working in private law practice.
A native West Virginian, Ms. Jones received her bachelor’s degree in political science from West Virginia University and her degree of Juris Doctor from WVU College of Law.
State ADA Coordinator
Former Cabinet Secretary Ross Taylor appointed Kim Nuckles as the State of West Virginia Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator on June 15, 2012. Prior to serving in this capacity, Kim worked in a private sector law firm for 11 years.
As the State ADA Coordinator, Ms. Nuckles’ responsibilities include advising, consulting and collaborating with state and federal agencies to develop comprehensive policies and programs to assure compliance with the federal ADA. She is also tasked with assisting state supervisory personnel with reasonable accommodation issues in the workplace.
Within state government, Ms. Nuckles serves in various capacities on the Access to Justice Subcommittee through the West Virginia State Bar, Cultural Facilities and Capitol Resources Grant Committee, Olmstead Council, Capitol Evacuation Team, Capitol Closed Point of Dispensing (CPOD) Committee, West Virginia Access and Functional Needs workgroup through the Center for Threat Preparedness and the National Federation for the Blind. She is also a member of the Leadership Network through the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. Ms. Nuckles was appointed chair of the Governor’s Committee for the Purchase of Commodities and Services from the Handicapped on October 14, 2014.
A native of Benwood, West Virginia, Ms. Nuckles is a 2001 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and a 1997 graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University.
Executive Assistant to the Secretary
Carol Nichols joined the Department of Administration as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary on December 1, 2014.
Prior to this role, Ms. Nichols worked for four years as the executive assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. She began her career in state government in December 1994 as the Administrative Secretary to the General Counsel in the Department of Revenue. During her tenure at the Department of Revenue, Ms. Nichols tracked legislation for the entire Department and its 10 agencies for over fifteen years. She also provided staff support for the Governor’s Committee on Fair Taxation, the Economic Development Grant Committee, and the Tax Modernization Project.
Ms. Nichols grew up in Dayton, Ohio, but has lived in Charleston since 1978. She has two sons and a granddaughter.
Joyce Jones has worked for the Secretary’s office since November 2006 as the paralegal for the Secretary’s general counsel. She also currently serves as the Executive Secretary and Office Manager for the Secretary’s office.
Born in Scranton, PA, Ms. Jones moved from Buffalo, NY, to West Virginia in 1977. She attended Huntington Business College and began her career as a court reporter. Ms. Jones has also worked as a legal secretary for a private legal practice, a prominent corporate firm, and as a legal assistant for a local personal injury firm before coming to work for state government.