The executive head and appointing authority of the department shall be the secretary of social and health services. He or she shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. He or she shall be paid a salary to be fixed by the governor in accordance with the provisions of RCW 43.03.040
. If a vacancy occurs in his or her position while the senate is not in session, the governor shall make a temporary appointment until the next meeting of the senate, when he or she shall present to that body his or her nomination for the office.