Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro is wasting little time building out his transition team to help him prepare to lead a new administration before he’s sworn in on Jan. 17.
He’s already hired a chief of staff for his office, established three committees to help him with both the inauguration and the transition – and named a few initial staff appointments.
Speaking to reporters a week after winning the state’s gubernatorial election, Shapiro promised to build an administration that reflects the state’s diversity. “To meet this moment, we're going to assemble a talented, hard-working, capable administration – one that looks like Pennsylvania, and one that is ready to go to work,” he said.
Shapiro’s transition team is growing by the day, so City & State is keeping a running list of who has joined the transition team so far:
On Feb. 1, Shapiro named two more cabinet picks, re-nominating Lucas Miller as the state’s inspector general and nominating Reggie McNeil to be secretary of the Department of General Services.
On Jan. 19, Shapiro named Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry, his former first deputy AG, as the state’s next attorney general.
On Jan. 13, Shapiro announced his intention to re-nominate Randy Padfield as the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. He also nominated Laurel Harry, the state’s acting western region deputy secretary at the Department of Corrections, to lead the agency as secretary of corrections.
Shapiro also nominated Major General Mark Schindler to be adjutant general of Pennsylvania, selected Tom Cook to be the state’s fire commissioner and picked Christopher Paris to be the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Shapiro’s transition team also announced several staff appointments, as well. Meaghan Abbott, a former deputy secretary for intergovernmental affairs for Gov. Tom Wolf, will serve as chief of staff to First Lady Lori Shapiro.
Shapiro will be joined by some more familiar faces from his campaign and the attorney general’s office. Manuel Bonder was named as press secretary and Annie Newman was named Shapiro’s director of digital strategy. Shapiro aide Jacklin Rhoads was named director of public affairs and marketing and Will Simons was named as Shapiro’s communications director.
The governor-elect named Lisa Swanson, his campaign research director, as his office’s director of research and Amanda Warren, executive director of his inauguration, was named as his director of external affairs.
On Jan. 12, Shapiro announced five cabinet secretary nominations, revealing his picks to lead the Department of Community and Economic Development, PennDOT, the Department of Banking and Securities, and the Department of Revenue – all of whom will need to be confirmed by the state Senate.
Former state Rep. Mike Carroll, a former Democratic chair of the House Transportation Committee, is Shapiro’s pick to serve as PennDOT secretary. The governor-elect nominated another ex-legislator, Republican and former state Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne, as secretary of the Department of Revenue.
Rick Siger, the current chief of staff and senior adviser to the president of Carnegie Mellon University, will also join Shapiro’s administration as secretary at the Department of Community and Economic Development, barring Senate approval. So will Sarah Hammer, the current managing director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, who was nominated by Shapiro to serve as secretary of the Department of Banking and Securities.
On Jan. 11, Shapiro named five more cabinet nominees. Shapiro nominated Dr. Val Arkoosh, a former colleague of his on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, as secretary of the Department of Human Services. Arkoosh is currently the chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Dr. Debra Bogen, the current director of the Allegheny County Public Health Department, was nominated as Shapiro’s secretary at the Department of Health. Shapiro named Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, the senior director of Behavioral Health at Highmark Wholecare, as secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
The governor-elect also nominated Jason Kavulich secretary at the Department of Aging. Kavulich currently is the director of the Lackawanna County Agency on Aging. Shapiro also tapped Acting Insurance Commissioner Mike Humphreys to remain in the role permanently in his administration.
During an appearance on KYW Newsradio on Jan. 11, Shapiro also revealed that he plans to nominate First Deputy Attorney General Michelle Henry to replace him as attorney general.
On Jan. 10, the governor-elect named three more cabinet secretaries. Shapiro said he will be reappointing current Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources Cindy Dunn and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, both of whom served in Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration. Shapiro also nominated Rich Negrin, a former managing director for the City of Philadelphia, as his administration’s secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.
On Jan. 9, Shapiro named three more cabinet secretary appointments. The incoming governor picked Khalid Mumin, the superintendent of schools at the Lower Merion School District, as his education secretary. Nancy Walker, the deputy chief of staff for the Office of Attorney General’s Fair Labor Section, was selected as Shapiro’s secretary at the Department of Labor & Industry. Shapiro also tapped Neil Weaver – the current acting secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, as his secretary of administration.
On Jan. 5, Shapiro nominated former GOP Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt as his secretary of state. The governor-elect said Schmidt will bring an “extraordinary level of integrity, determination and expertise” to the state’s elections.
On Jan. 4, Shapiro announced two more administration appointments. He named Akbar Hossain, the executive director of his transition team, as his administration’s secretary of policy and planning. Shapiro also said former Republican state Rep. Mike Vereb, who works as Shapiro’s director of government affairs in the attorney general’s office, will begin joining the administration as his secretary of legislative affairs.
On Dec. 29, Shapiro named six deputy chiefs of staff in his administration. Shapiro named Joseph Lee, a former intelligence analyst at the CIA, as his deputy chief of staff for administration and opportunity. Lee becomes the first person of East Asian descent to be appointed as a cabinet member in the state, Shapiro’s transition team said. Shapiro also named Lindsey Mauldin, a former Planned Parenthood advocate and Department of Health staffer, as his deputy chief of staff for health and human services.
Danielle Okai, a deputy director of public engagement for the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been named the governor-elect’s deputy chief of staff for economic development. Tori Shriver, the political director for the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, will be Shapiro’s deputy chief of staff for education and workforce development, while Sam Robinson, a deputy chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, will serve as Shapiro’s deputy chief of staff for consumers and the environment.
Meanwhile, Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe was named Shapiro’s deputy chief of staff for public safety.
On Dec. 6, the governor-elect made three staff appointments. He named Uri Monson, the current chief financial officer of the School District of Philadelphia, as his budget secretary. Jennifer Selber, a deputy attorney general under Shapiro who oversees the office’s criminal division, was appointed as general counsel for the governor’s office on Tuesday. Shapiro also named Larry Hailsham – his campaign’s political director – as his executive deputy chief of staff.
On Dec. 2, Shapiro announced the formation of seven advisory committees that will advise him on policy issues before he takes office.
On Dec. 1, Shapiro named his longtime aide Dana Fritz as his chief of staff, setting up Fritz to be one of the most powerful staffers in the governor’s office. Fritz will be charged with overseeing the daily operations of Shapiro’s office and will be one of Shapiro’s top advisers.
On Nov. 30, Shapiro and Davis announced the makeup of their inaugural committee, which will plan next year’s inauguration events.
The co-chairs of Shapiro’s inaugural committee include: Incoming First Lady Lori Shapiro; incoming Second Lady Blayre Holmes-Davis; Darren J. Check, partner at Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP; William Dunbar, managing partner at Dunbar Public Affairs & Associates; Vanessa DeSalvo Getz, president at SALVO Strategies; Kenneth M. Jarin, partner at Ballard Spahr LLP; Michele Kessler, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1776.
Members on Shapiro’s Inaugural Committee include: Philip Ameris, president of the Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania; Carolina DiGiorgio, CEO of Congreso; Varsovia Fernandez, CEO of PA CDFI Network; Jeff Freedman, co-creator of QBurgh; Kata Himes, associate professor of medicine, Department of OB/GYN, University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Shamsul Huda, trustee to the board at Bucks County Community College and board president of the International Festival Foundation; Betsy Bechtolt Magley, principal of Bcauses, LLC; small business owner Taneise Marshall, retired attorney Mollie McCurdy; Ruby Mundok, Students for Shapiro Chapter Lead and Millersville University student; Evan Myers, senior vice president of Accuweather; Genesis Ortega, communications manager for the City of Allentown; Dennis Pagliotti, president and business manager of Bricklayers Local 1; Alison Perelman, executive director of Philadelphia 3.0; Todd Reidbord, principal at Walnut Capital; Izzy Saler, director of High School Students for Shapiro and student at Lower Merion High School; Marla Tobe Werner, co-founder and CEO of Givver; Jill Zipin, chair of Democratic Jewish Outreach PA.
On Nov. 22, Shapiro and Davis announced their Transition Leadership Board and Transition Personnel Committee, and named William Sasso, chair emeritus at Stradley Ronon, as the head of the transition’s leadership board. Davis, the lieutenant governor-elect, will chair the Personnel Committee, which is tasked with recruiting and recommending new hires for senior roles in the Shapiro administration.
Members of Shapiro’s Transition Leadership Board include: Chair William Sasso, chair emeritus of Stradley Ronon; Ryan Boyer, business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council; Gregory E. Deavens, president and CEO of Independence Health Group; Angela Ferritto, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Thomas B. Hagen, chair of the Board of Erie Indemnity Company and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Community & Economic Development; Laura Karet, CEO of Giant Eagle and chair of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development; attorney Jannie K. Lau; Charisse Lillie, CEO of CRL Consulting and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Neil T. O’Donnell, founder of O’Donnell Law Offices; Michelle Singer, senior vice president at Comcast; and Democratic state Rep. Pam Snyder.
Members of Shapiro’s Transition Personnel Committee include: Chair and Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis; Curtis Aiken, president, CEO and founder of ProTech Compliance; Madeline Bell, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Norman Bristol Colón, executive director of the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development; Steven Crawford, president and partner at Wojdak Government Relations and former chief of staff to former Gov. Ed Rendell; Robert Fox, managing partner at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox; J. David Henderson, executive director of AFSCME Council 13; Joseph Hill, senior principal at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies; Susan Jacobson, president at Jacobson Strategic Communications; Farnam Jahanian, president of Carnegie Mellon University; Jerry Johnson, president and CEO of Axum Advisors; Kevin Kinross, consultant at The Carey Group; Ben Kirshner, former founder, chair and CEO at Tinuiti; Lauren Lambrugo, chief operating officer of the Public Health Management Corporation; Jennifer Liptak, chief of staff to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Leslie Anne Miller, attorney and former general counsel under former Gov. Ed Rendell; Marshall Mitchell, senior pastor at the Salem Baptist Church of Abington; Joseph Neubauer, former CEO of Aramark; James D. Schultz, partner at Holland & Knight and former general counsel to former Gov. Tom Corbett and associate White House counsel under former President Donald Trump; Judith M. von Seldeneck, founder and chair of Diversified Search Group; Andréa Stanford, vice president, Pittsburgh regional manager at BNY Mellon; and Nathaniel Yap, former director at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Shapiro’s team also announced that three attorneys – Mira Baylson at Cozen O'Connor,
Tracey McCants Lewis, deputy general counsel and director of human resources at the Pittsburgh Penguins and David Nasatir, chair of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel – will be joining the transition team as legal counsel. Roy Temple, a partner at GPS Impact, and Rob Ghormoz, vice president at GSL Public Affairs, have also joined the transition team as senior advisors, as they have both served on previous gubernatorial transition teams.
On Nov. 16, Shapiro held his first official press conference since winning Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial election, detailing how the transition process will work. During the conference, Shapiro named the first three appointments to his transition team.
The governor-elect tapped Akbar Hossain, who was the policy director on Shapiro’s campaign, to be the executive director of his transition team. He named Amanda Warren, the former finance director for his gubernatorial campaign, as the executive director of his inauguration. Manuel Bonder, Shapiro’s campaign press secretary, was named as director of communications for transition, as well as the inauguration.
This story will be updated as more transition team hirings and appointments are made.