Governor-elect Ron DeSantis Reappoints Barbara Palmer as Director of Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor-elect Ron DeSantis today announced Barbara Palmer will continue to serve as Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) for the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration.  

“I am pleased to reappoint Barbara Palmer to serve as the Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,” said Governor-elect DeSantis. “Barbara has spent many years working to advance the needs of Floridians with disabilities and I have seen that she has the leadership capabilities and subject matter expertise needed to drive innovative public policy that will allow persons with disabilities to flourish in our communities across the state for years to come.” 

Former Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner added, “I’m excited that Governor-elect DeSantis has chosen Barbara Palmer to continue leading the APD. I’ve had the honor to work closely with her during my tenure as Senate President and I know she has a passion for individuals with unique abilities and will serve the new governor and our state with distinction.”

Barbara Palmer, Director of the Agency for Persons with DisabilitiesPalmer currently serves as the Director of APD, where she was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in August 2012. Prior to this position, Palmer served as the Chief of Staff of the APD.  

Before APD, Palmer was the Assistant Secretary for Administration for the Florida Department of Children and Families, and also served more than 15 years as President and CEO of Palmer, Musick & Associates. Throughout her career, Palmer has been the Chief Executive Officer of Illuminactive Multimedia, Inc.; Special Consultant for Governmental Affairs and Marketing for Pennington, Wilkinson & Dunlap, P.A.; Director of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants for the Florida Department of Business Regulation; Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations for the Florida State University; Director of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics for FSU, and Executive Director and Vice President of IMPACT Enterprises, Inc.    

Palmer has received numerous awards and honors, including being inducted into the “Florida Women’s Hall of Fame,” the “FSU Athletic Hall of Fame,” the FSU Circle of Gold, the “Tallahassee Community College Hall of Fame,” and the “Leon High School Hall of Fame;” and the recipient of the “President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports National Award,” the “Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Leadership Award,” FSU College of Education “Distinguished Alumni Award in Business & Industry,” Florida Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, “Outstanding Service Award,” and the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Administrators “Lifetime Achievement Award.” She also established the “Barbara J. Palmer Award” for Outstanding High School Athletics.  

Palmer received a Masters of Science in Leisure Services Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Administration from Florida State University.