Georgia lottery names new president

ATLANTA — The Georgia Lottery has named a new president, ending a process that drew controversy and led to one of the board members submitting her resignation.

The Georgia Lottery Corp. board of directors on Thursday announced that Debbie Dlugolenski Alford will be the new president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery.  She is the wife of Dean Alford, a former state legislator and current member of the Georgia Board of Regents.

She is currently the chief financial officer and director of the Office of Planning and Budget for the state of Georgia. She served three years on the Georgia Lottery board of directors. She replaces Margaret DeFrancisco, who announced plans to retire in August.

Board member Frances Rogers resigned during the hiring process, saying she felt the board was being pressured to hire the governor’s budget director to run the lottery, one of the nation’s most successful. Rogers said she didn’t object to Alford, but felt the governor’s influence diminished the board’s independence.

Rogers has said the board posted the job on lottery websites across the country but got only 11 resumes, none from Georgia Lottery staffers and none from the people the board had hoped would apply. By comparison, the state had 300 applicants when the job was last open in 2003.