Vice President of Government Relations brings broad experience in military and public affairs
MADISON, Wis. — Rob Palmer is the new Vice President of Government Relations at WPS Health Solutions. He succeeds Christine Russell, who has retired.
An Air Force Reservist who has spent the last 10 years serving on active duty, he comes to WPS from the Air Force Reserve Command, where he was Director of Public Affairs since 2012. Based in Georgia, he was the chief communication officer and spokesman for one of the Air Force’s 10 major commands. Air Force Reserve Command has more than 70,000 Air Force Reservists.
Palmer previously was Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, where he was responsible for educating members of Congress and their staffs about the commands’ mission and activities.
For six months in 2012, Palmer had a developmental assignment as Special Assistant to the Chief of Strategy and Assessments in the Office of Air Force Public Affairs. He was responsible for strategic communications planning for the Air Force’s 2013 budget roll-out and force structure announcement.
With a background in government relations that spans two decades, Palmer’s experience includes executive roles for three employer trade associations and staff positions for two members of Congress.
“Rob Palmer has exceptional credentials and will be a valuable liaison between WPS and key government officials,” said WPS President and CEO Mike Hamerlik. “Rob’s background is especially helpful in nurturing relationships for our government contracts.”
Palmer earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts. He also earned a master of public affairs degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
“WPS is a great company with a long history of serving the people of Wisconsin,” Palmer said. “I am truly humbled to join this outstanding team.”
Palmer continues to serve in the Air Force Reserve as an individual mobilization augmentee assigned to United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
About WPS Health Solutions
WPS Health Solutions is a nationally regarded government contractor and Wisconsin’s leading not-for-profit health insurer. The WPS Health Insurance division offers affordable individual health insurance, family health insurance, high-deductible health insurance, and short-term health plans, as well as flexible and affordable group plans and cost-effective benefit plan administration for businesses. The WPS Government Health Administrators division administers Part A and B Medicare benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states, and the WPS Military and Veterans Health division serves millions more members who are active in the U.S. military, veterans and their families. In 2015, the international Ethisphere® Institute named WPS one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® for the sixth straight year. For more information about WPS, visit http://www.wpsic.com.