The executive head and appointing authority of the department is the director. The director shall serve as the state historic preservation officer, and shall have a background in program administration, an active involvement in historic preservation, and a knowledge of the national, state, and local preservation programs as they affect the state of Washington. The director shall be appointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, and serves at the pleasure of the governor. The director shall be paid a salary to be fixed by the governor in accordance with RCW 43.03.040
. If a vacancy occurs in the position while the senate is not in session, the governor shall make a temporary appointment until the next meeting of the senate.