Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Finance Secretary John R. Farris to Leave Cabinet Post

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, July 11, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mike Burnside named new Finance and Administration Cabinet secretary

FRANKFORT, Ky. Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary John R. Farris announced today that he has submitted his resignation effective July 31, 2007.


"John has proven to be the embodiment of the phrase 'Kentucky's best and brightest.' His extraordinary service to the Commonwealth and this administration has come at great cost to his young family and personal health," said Governor Ernie Fletcher. "As Governor, I regret the loss his departure creates for the Commonwealth. As a father and physician, I completely understand and support his decision."


Farris plans to take some personal time this summer to spend with his family, including his two-year-old daughter Addie and newborn daughter Julianna, before pursuing other career opportunities.


Farris has served as cabinet secretary since June 7, 2006. Prior to his appointment as secretary, he served as deputy secretary of the cabinet since Feb. 12, 2004. Before joining Kentucky state government, Farris worked as an economist at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the Research Triangle Institute. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Centre College in Danville with a double major in economics and philosophy and did his graduate work in economics and public policy at Princeton University. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.


"I am very grateful to Governor Fletcher and Secretary Rudolph for the confidence they have placed in me during my tenure as Finance Secretary," said Sec. Farris. "It has been a demanding job, but it has been a great professional opportunity and learning experience for me."


During Farris' tenure as the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s secretary and deputy secretary, the cabinet achieved improved bond ratings and increased overall efficiencies, including the consolidation of state government information technology under the Commonwealth Office of Technology and the move of state vehicle fleet management to the cabinet. Under Farris’ leadership, the cabinet also worked with the legislature to strengthen Kentucky’s tax increment financing laws, which provide a mechanism for the financing of local economic development projects. 


Mike Burnside, deputy secretary for the Finance cabinet since Dec. 16, 2006, will become secretary on August 1, 2007.


"I am deeply honored to be offered this opportunity and am looking forward serving the governor in this new capacity," said Burnside.  "John Farris has set a high standard for excellence as Finance secretary. He will be missed by all and we will continue the initiatives that he has fostered during his tenure. We wish him well."


Burnside joined state government in June 1996 as the executive director of Administrative Services within the former Revenue Cabinet. He also served as the executive director of the Customer Resource Center and executive director of Material and Procurement Services within the Finance and Administration Cabinet. Prior to his return to Finance, he most recently served as undersecretary of Fiscal and Administrative Affairs for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.


A native of Lancaster, Burnside is a 1974 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and holds a master's degree in management from Troy State University in Montgomery, Ala.  He is a veteran of 20 years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, the majority of which was spent as a pilot and instructor in fighter, bomber and training aircraft. He retired from active duty in 1994 after reaching the rank of Colonel.