Henry Atencio will succeed outgoing Director Kevin Kempf, who announced his resignation earlier this week.
Atencio is currently the Idaho Department of Correction’s deputy director.
The Idaho Board of Correction announced his appointment Thursday morning.
Kempf resigned to become executive director of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. During his two years leading IDOC, he was known for backing a number of prison reforms and for attempting to make many prison operations more transparent to the public.
“I’m eager to build on that momentum by focusing on public safety while giving offenders meaningful opportunities to turn their lives around,” Atencio said in a statement Thursday.
Atencio has worked with IDOC for 26 years and will start his new role on Dec. 16, Kempf’s last day.
“As a board, we were lucky because the department’s leadership team is packed with outstanding leaders,” Debbie Field, Board of Correction chair, said in a statement. “Ultimately, we decided Henry is the best choice because of his thorough knowledge of the department and his vision for the future.”