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APD Director Barbara Palmer Resigns

Palmer led the APD for a decade and was instrumental in ensuring that the agency had adequate resources to protect the health and safety of vulnerable Floridians with developmental disabilities.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Barbara Palmer – the Director of Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities – has resigned and will leave her post at the end of the year. Her distinguished career includes a decade at the helm of the agency serving some of Florida’s most vulnerable residents.

In her resignation letter submitted to Governor DeSantis, Palmer said:

“It has been an honor to serve as the Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) during your administration. Helping protect the health and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities has been my privilege and the pinnacle of my career.”

The DeSantis administration commended Director Palmer on her work.

“For the past two decades, Director Palmer has served the people of Florida in many capacities,” said Communications Director Taryn Fenske. “For the past ten years, she has led the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, ensuring the health and safety of vulnerable Floridians.”

“Prior to this service, she was a prominent figure in FSU women’s athletics, and she has always been a strong advocate for mental health. Throughout Director Palmer’s career she has been a dedicated leader and we thank her for her service,” Fenske added.


While leading APD, Palmer advocated for and secured the largest budget for the APD in its history – over $2 billion to ensure adequate resources for disabled Floridians.

Director Palmer was instrumental in the implementation of several technological enhancements that improved the way the agency carries out its work. She also oversaw the agency through numerous disaster responses.

Palmer was appointed in 2012 by Governor Rick Scott to lead the agency. She also served as chief of staff for the ADP prior to becoming director.

Palmer also has been assistant secretary for administration for the Florida Department of Children and Families. She spent more than 15 years as president and CEO of Palmer, Musick & Associates.