Secretary Derrick Ramsey has decades of experience working in Kentucky’s higher education system. He began his career as a Community Relations Officer at the University of Kentucky before becoming Athletic Director at Kentucky State University, where he developed the Student Athlete Excellence in Academics program. Under his leadership, Kentucky State athletics produced more Presidential Scholars than any other school department. Secretary Ramsey also served for seven years as the Director of Athletics for Coppin State University in Baltimore.
Most recently, Ramsey served as the Secretary of the Labor Cabinet under Gov. Bevin, where he was responsible for administering worker compensation and workplace standard laws for 1.9 million Kentucky workers and employers. Ramsey also served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, where he managed a $50 million budget and oversaw human resources for the agency.
As Labor Secretary, Ramsey emphasized workplace safety education and helped to streamline and modernize the state’s litigation management system for workers’ claims. Ramsey also revived Kentucky’s Registered Apprenticeship Program to better recruit and train the next generation of workers. Over 1,000 Kentucky employers have joined the program, which offers paid on-the-job training for participants.
Ramsey is also an accomplished athlete and was the first African-American starting quarterback for the University of Kentucky football team. His athletic abilities vaulted him to a nine-year career in the NFL, which included a Super Bowl championship in 1981.
Ramsey resides with his wife in Lexington, Kentucky.