Skip to main navigation Skip to main content


Gov. Beshear Announces Retirement of Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary

Mary Noble retires effective July 15

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 2, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble has decided to retire July 15. 

"I have an immense amount of respect for Secretary Noble and have been honored to work with her," said Gov. Beshear. "Over the last 16 months, she has been a tremendous asset as the cabinet navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic. With her vast experience in criminal justice, Secretary Noble agreed to join the administration and help get us off to a good start but told me she would not serve for a full term. I thank her for her service, especially during such a trying time, and she will always be a member of Team Kentucky."

Secretary Noble was appointed by the Governor on Dec. 10, 2019, and is the first woman to serve as secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. 

Prior to joining Gov. Beshear's administration, Secretary Noble served 10 years on the Kentucky Supreme Court, from which she retired in 2016.

"I appreciate the opportunity Gov. Beshear gave me to work on criminal justice issues at the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet," said Secretary Noble. "Throughout my career, I have been interested in these issues, from being a criminal defense attorney to starting drug courts as a circuit judge and helping pass juvenile justice reforms as a Supreme Court Justice. Protecting citizens, restoring victims and reforming wrongdoers is incredibly important public work. I am glad to have helped shape the foundation of this administration's work going forward in these areas." 

As cabinet secretary, she helped steer the state's prisons, juvenile justice centers, state police, law enforcement training academy and public advocacy through the pandemic with a focus on safeguarding the health and safety of these public-facing agencies as they continued to provide essential services to the commonwealth.

In partnership with Gov. Beshear and his administration, Secretary Noble worked to develop more relevant law enforcement training, administered more than $120 million in grant funding and balanced a $1.3 billion cabinet budget. She also helped open a new state prison in Wheelwright, relocated the juvenile detention center in Louisville to a larger campus facility, launched the state identification project for the justice-involved population and advocated for stronger legislation to combat the opioid epidemic and strengthen criminal justice reform. 

"Serving as cabinet secretary has been rewarding because of the people I have had the pleasure of working with. Our cabinet is comprised of some of the smartest, most creative and dedicated individuals," said Secretary Noble. "We accomplished a lot during these 19 months because we worked together as one team. I am confident the Governor, this cabinet and the entire Beshear administration will continue to do great things to better Kentucky."

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is the second largest cabinet in state government with more than 7,000 employees. To learn more about the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, click here

For a copy of Secretary Noble's bio, click here.