Cabinet and Executive Officials

Governor’s Executive Staff

Mike Brunelle – Chief of Staff
J.J. Abbott – Press Secretary
Alison Beam – Deputy Chief of Staff
Krystal Bonner – Chief Digital Officer
Nathanael Brague – Special Assistant to the Governor
Marcus Brown – Director of Homeland Security
Elena Cross – Deputy Chief of Staff
Will Danowski – Secretary of Legislative Affairs
Eric Gutshall – Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs
Eric Hagarty – Deputy Chief of Staff
Andrea Mead – Chief of Staff to the First Lady
Michael Newsome – Secretary of Administration
Mark Nicastre – Director of Communications
Betsy Phillips – Director of Scheduling
Sam Robinson – Deputy Chief of Staff
Gregory G. Schwab – General Counsel
Meg Snead – Secretary of Policy and Planning
Nick Soccio – Staff Secretary
Jen Swails – Secretary of the Budget

Governor’s Cabinet Officials

The Governor’s Cabinet comprises the directors of various state agencies. These directors are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Each secretary is responsible for the oversight of his or her agency.

Jessica Altman – Insurance Commissioner
Bruce R. Beemer – Inspector General
Kathy Boockvar – Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth
Major General Tony Carrelli – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs
Dennis M. Davin – Secretary of Community and Economic Development
Cindy Dunn – Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick – Acting State Police Commissioner
C. Daniel Hassell – Secretary of Revenue
Dr. Rachel Levine – Secretary of Health
Patrick McDonnell – Secretary of Environmental Protection
Teresa D. Miller – Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Jerry Oleksiak – Secretary of Labor and Industry
David “Randy” R. Padfield – Acting Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
Russell Redding – Secretary of Agriculture
Leslie S. Richards – Secretary of Transportation
Pedro Rivera – Secretary of Education
Jennifer Smith – Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Curt Topper – Secretary of General Services
Robert Torres – Acting Secretary of Aging
Bruce Trego – State Fire Commissioner
John Wetzel – Secretary of Corrections
Robin Wiessmann – Secretary of Banking and Securities

 

J.J. Abbott – Press Secretary

Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, J.J. Abbott served as a spokesman for the Office of Attorney General, Director of Communications for the Allegheny County Controller, Campaign Manager of Chelsa Wagner for Controller, and as an aide to former Congressman Joe Sestak and former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a lifetime Pennsylvania resident.

Jessica Altman – Insurance Commissioner

Jessica Altman was appointed Insurance Commissioner on March 20, 2017. Prior to this role, Ms. Altman served as Chief of Staff for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department alongside former Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller beginning in June 2015.

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    In this position, Ms. Altman served as the top aide to former Commissioner Miller, oversaw policy initiatives for the agency, and coordinated policy with other state government agencies and external groups.

    Ms. Altman represented the department in a number of statewide initiatives including coordinating aspects of Health Innovation in Pennsylvania, which leverages funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ State Innovation Model Initiative and sitting as a board member for ABC-MAP, the Commonwealth’s initiative to implement a prescription drug monitoring program. She is also an active member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and is vice-chair of the NAIC’s subgroup evaluating the definition of quality improvement activities for the medical loss ratio.

    Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Ms. Altman worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, where she developed policy and facilitated implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, she served as a policy analyst for the health division of the White House Office of Management and Budget while completing her master’s degree.

    Ms. Altman has a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management, with a concentration in Health Care Policy, from Cornell University.

    Pennsylvania is the fifth largest insurance market in the United States, in terms of premium volume, and the 14th largest insurance market in the world.

    The Insurance Commissioner is entrusted with enforcing the insurance laws of Pennsylvania, including protecting consumers and monitoring the financial solvency of Pennsylvania domestic insurance companies. Pennsylvania serves as the lead regulator for an array of insurance companies from small mutuals that trace their history to the 1700’s to a number of large internationally active insurance groups. Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of advancing the regulation of domestic IAIGs. The department also investigates and enforces state laws and regulations pertaining to insurance and responds to consumer inquiries. The department provides the public with information and educational brochures regarding various types of insurance.

Alison Beam – Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Alison Beam currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Tom Wolf.

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    In this position, Ms. Beam coordinates policy development, fiscal and legal management, legislative initiatives, communications and stakeholder engagement across Pennsylvania’s Departments of Health, Human Services, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Aging, and Insurance.
    Ms. Beam provides day-to-day advice and support to the Governor’s Office on key health care priorities, including stabilizing and sustaining the health insurance markets, increasing access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, and ensuring the high caliber of health care delivered in the Commonwealth continues. Prior to transitioning to the Governor’s Office, Ms. Beam served as the Chief of Staff to the Insurance Commissioner.

    Ms. Beam previously served as Director of Public Policy and Associate Counsel for Independence Health Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In that capacity, Alison guided interactions with regulators, legislators and national trade associations and developed and implemented internal response strategies.

    Alison graduated from Drexel University School of Law in 2013. Before embarking on law school, Alison was a Senior Consultant at McBee Associates, a health care consulting firm in Manhattan, New York. Alison holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

Bruce R. Beemer – Inspector General

Bruce R. Beemer was appointed Inspector General by Governor Tom Wolf on July 25, 2016. On Aug. 30, 2016, he was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate and sworn in as Attorney General after Governor Wolf nominated him to fill a vacancy in that office. Beemer resumed his tenure as Inspector General on Jan. 17, 2017, when newly elected Attorney General Josh Shapiro was sworn in.

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    Prior to joining the Office of Inspector General, Beemer served as First Deputy in the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Criminal, Civil and Public Protections Divisions.

    Beemer previously served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. After joining that office as an Assistant District Attorney in 1996, he worked in the Crimes Persons, Narcotics and Homicide Trial Units where he tried more than 100 jury trials and prosecuted more than 75 homicide cases. He was responsible for several gang-related prosecutions within the City of Pittsburgh involving multi-jurisdictional coordination with state and federal agencies.

    In 2005, Beemer was made supervisor of the District Attorney’s General Trial Unit and Summary Appeals Unit. He managed more than 30 prosecutors in the office and regularly advised city, county and municipal police departments on legal issues relating to active investigations. He trained police officers and prosecutors on behalf of the Municipal Police Officer Training and Education Center, the Allegheny County Police Academy and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

    From 2005 to 2010 Beemer was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law, where he taught trial advocacy to third-year law students. He served as a Board Member for the Center for Victims of Violent Crime from 2010 to 2013.

    In 2010, Beemer left the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office to engage in a private practice focused on plaintiff environmental toxic tort cases and white-collar criminal defense. In late 2011, he was appointed Chief of Staff for the Office of Attorney General of Pennsylvania under Attorney General Linda Kelly and, in 2013, he was appointed Chief of Criminal Prosecutions under Attorney General Kathleen Kane. In 2014, he was appointed First Deputy.

    Beemer graduated summa cum laude in 1992 from the University of Scranton and, in 1995, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He lives just north of Pittsburgh in Bradford Woods. He and his wife, Jodi, have two children.

Krystal Bonner – Chief Digital Officer

Before serving in this role, Krystal Bonner held prior positions with the Wolf Administration, Wolf Inaugural Committee, and Wolf Campaign. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Kathy Boockvar – Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth

Kathy Boockvar was appointed acting secretary of the commonwealth on January 5, 2019. In this role, Boockvar leads the Pennsylvania Department of State.

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    Boockvar is an attorney with an extensive background in public interest law and policy, election administration, and nonprofit healthcare administration, and has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she served as senior adviser to the governor on election modernization, leading and managing initiatives to improve security and technology in Pennsylvania’s elections and voting systems, in collaboration with federal, state, and county officials.

    Prior to joining the Department of State in 2018, Boockvar served as executive director of Lifecycle WomanCare, one of the oldest continually operating birth centers in the U.S. She led and oversaw operations, management, and policies of the nonprofit women’s healthcare organization, established and strengthened key partnerships with physicians, hospitals, and other organizations and professionals, and expanded services and programs.

    Boockvar previously served as chief counsel for the Pennsylvania auditor general, overseeing legal and interagency matters, and served as the auditor general’s designee on the board of commissioners of the Delaware River Port Authority.

    For many years, Boockvar worked as a poll worker and as a voting rights attorney, gaining extensive knowledge of and experience with state and federal election laws and regulations, as well as local and county-level practices and procedures in Pennsylvania. Boockvar also worked for over a decade as a private practice attorney with a focus on employment law, and she began her career as a nonprofit legal services attorney, representing low-income, disabled, and senior clients, and victims of domestic violence.

    Boockvar is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1990) and the American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 1993). She received a performance leadership certificate from Cornell University in 2014, and is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, D.C. courts.

    In 2017, she received a SmartCEO Brava Award that recognizes high-impact female business leaders, and has been a volunteer attorney with Wills for Heroes since 2012, providing essential legal documents free of charge to first responders.

Nathanael Brague – Special Assistant to the Governor

Nathanael Brague joined the Wolf Administration in August 2016, serving in several roles in the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs before being selected to serve as the special assistant in August 2018.

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    Prior to working for the Wolf Administration, he earned his bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and government, law, and national security from Misericordia University.

Marcus Brown – Director of Homeland Security

Marcus L. Brown was appointed Pennsylvania’s homeland security advisor and director of the Office of Homeland Security in 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf. Director Brown serves as the commonwealth’s primary point-of-contact on homeland security issues and the governor’s senior advisor on all matters related to acts of terrorism in the commonwealth.

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    Prior to his appointment, Director Brown served 25 years in law enforcement, most of it with the Baltimore City Police Department. He served as the commander of special operations, internal affairs, northwest patrol district and legal affairs. He finished his career in Baltimore as the deputy commissioner of operations which is the second highest ranking position in the department. In 2007, he was appointed chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police where he remained until he was appointed superintendent of the Maryland State Police in August 2011, serving until January 2015. A native of Cumberland County, Director Brown holds a Bachelor of Science in business/marketing from the Pennsylvania State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the University of the Baltimore School of Law.

Mike Brunelle – Chief of Staff

Mike Brunelle most recently served as Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Deputy Chief of Staff.

Previous to joining the Wolf Administration, Mike Brunelle spent two years as the National Campaigns Director for the Service Employees International Union, where he led the organization’s programs in 26 states.

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    Prior to working for SEIU in Washington, D.C., he spent nearly three years as the Executive Director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania State Council, where he directed the planning and execution of Council issue and legislative programs and served as staff-level leadership.

    Before coming to Pennsylvania, Mike worked on various candidate and issue-based campaigns in the Northeast, including the elections of Governor John H Lynch. He served as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, was a state representative in the New Hampshire General Court, and also served as the Democratic Whip.

    Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Lemoyne with his wife Erika, and their daughter, Ava.

Major General Tony Carrelli – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs

Major General Tony Carrelli assumed duties as the adjutant general on June 29, 2016. In this cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, he is responsible for command, control and supervision of National Guard units – Army and Air – allocated to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, six state-owned veterans’ homes and programs for Pennsylvania’s more than 820,000 veterans.

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    Prior to his appointment as Acting Adjutant General on January 14, 2016, Carrelli served as the Deputy Adjutant General-Air, Pennsylvania National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters since January 22, 2013. In this position he served as the primary advisor to Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General on all matters pertaining to air operations and as commander of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. He was responsible for overall operational readiness and ensuring that the 4,100 assigned members are trained and equipped to successfully accomplish their federal and state missions.

    Carrelli graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1985. He completed undergraduate pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, followed by several flying assignments as an A-10 pilot. He served in active duty Air Force for several years as a T-37, AT-38 and A-10 pilot. Following his release from active duty, Carrelli joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard in 1999. He has deployed in numerous operations to include Desert Storm, Southern Watch, and most recently Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

    Carrelli has completed Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. His military decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two devices, Air Medal with five devices, Aerial Achievement Medal with five devices, Air Force Commendation Medal with three devices, Air Force Achievement Medal with one device, Gallant Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with seven devices and Valor, National Defense Service with one device, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two devices, Southwest Asia Service Medal with one device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two devices, Iraq Campaign Medal with one device, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon with one device, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with two devices and gold border, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four devices, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with multiple devices, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one device, Air Force Training Ribbon, Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Medal, Pennsylvania State Service Medal, Pennsylvania Major General Thomas R. White, Jr. Medal, and Pennsylvania Thomas J. Stewart Medal. He is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours in the A-10, T-37, T-38, AT-38B and KC-135 aircraft.

    Carrelli has served as commander of the 111th Fighter Wing, Horsham, and commander of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport.

Elena Cross – Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Before joining the Wolf Administration, Elena Cross served on Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s Transition Committee. Working with the Wolf campaign and other campaigns and stakeholders across the commonwealth, Cross was the Executive Director of Campaign for a Fresh Start in 2014.

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    Previously, Cross was the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Before that, she held other roles at the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and the House Democratic Campaign Committee. Cross began her political career working on campaigns in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Cross is from State College and attended Penn State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

    Elena Cross assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015.

Will Danowski – Secretary of Legislative Affairs

Will Danowski has over a decade of experience working to advance priority policy issues in Pennsylvania’s state capitol. Prior to his appointment with the Wolf Administration in January 2015, Will served as Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of legislative strategy and advised the Board on critical issues impacting the agency.

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    Prior to his Gaming Board service, Will served for six years in Governor Rendell’s Legislative Office, including as Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, Will was responsible for working across party lines to advance budget and policy negotiations for major administration priorities, including education and community and economic development issues.

    A northeast Pennsylvania native, Will has a B.A. in Political Science from King’s College, where he graduated magna cum laude.

    Will Danowski assumed duties as secretary of legislative affairs on February 19, 2016.

Dennis M. Davin – Secretary of Community and Economic Development

Dennis Davin (DCED) served as the director of Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED). Dennis also served as the director of the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority and executive director of the Industrial Development Authority, Hospital Development Authority, Higher Education Building Authority, and Residential Finance Authority.

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    Dennis is also an active board member of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. Before serving as director of ACED, Dennis was regional director of the Governor’s Action Team for Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he worked at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for eight years before becoming the URA’s director of housing. Dennis also served as the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation’s deputy executive director.

    Dennis Davin assumed duties as acting secretary of community and economic development in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 12, 2015.

Cindy Dunn – Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources

Cindy Dunn is a former deputy secretary at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, where she led the department’s Conservation Landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30 to $60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth.

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    She also worked closely with local communities to revitalize local parks and trails. Cindy’s experience makes her well-suited to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s huge opportunity to continue to grow these sectors of the economy through a revitalized State Park and State Forest system.

    Cindy Dunn assumed duties as acting secretary of conservation and natural resources in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 2, 2015.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick – Acting State Police Commissioner

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police in 1981, after two years as a police officer with the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department.

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    As he rose through the ranks, he served as a station commander and troop commander, as well as the director of the department’s Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards. He was promoted to deputy commissioner of operations, overseeing the administration, coordination, and supervision of field operations for the Pennsylvania State Police in 2017.

C. Daniel Hassell – Secretary of Revenue

C. Daniel Hassell was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf on April 24, 2017.as Secretary of Revenue and unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on June 19, 2017.

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    Hassell has more than three decades of experience as a senior tax policy analyst with the Department of Revenue and the Pennsylvania Senate. In December 2009, Governor Ed Rendell nominated Hassell as Secretary of Revenue, after which he was confirmed on April 14, 2010 and served in that capacity until January 2011.

    Hassell has previously served as Deputy Secretary for Tax Policy for the Department of Revenue, where he coordinated department decisions on all aspects of tax policy. Hassell evaluated the impact of proposed tax legislation, regulations, policies, procedures and public statements, as well as researched and prepared tax revenue projections for the Office of the Budget and the Governor. He oversaw the bureaus of Research and Audits, the Board of Appeals and the Economic Development Office. Hassell has authored three tax policy articles published in State Tax Notes, a leading multi-state tax news source.

    Hassell is an Erie native who graduated valedictorian of Strong Vincent High School in 1979. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Westminster College and a Master of Science in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Heinz School of Urban and Public Affairs. Hassell also completed a program for senior executives in state and local government offered by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

    Hassell has worked for the Department of Revenue since 1995, and previously worked for the department from 1981 to 1985. During the nine years between,   Hassell served as budget specialist for the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Hassell resides in Susquehanna Township, and he and wife Ellen are proud parents of three children, Rosie, Ben and Lydia.

Eric Gutshall – Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs

Before joining the Wolf Administration in February 2016, Eric Gutshall served as Legislative & Policy Director for Pennsylvania State Representative Patty Kim of the 103rd Legislative District. In that role, he was responsible for advancing ambitious constituent services goals and promoting the Representative’s legislative agenda.

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    Prior to his work in the state legislature, Eric served in the office of United States Congressman Todd Platts of the 19th Congressional District. In addition, Eric has served as Chair of the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats.

    A resident of Dauphin County, Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Pennsylvania College and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric Hagarty – Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Raised near Seattle, WA, Eric Hagarty studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Washington before moving to Pennsylvania in 2011 to work in politics and government.

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    Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, he served as Secretary Dennis M. Davin’s Chief of Staff at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and was Governor Tom Wolf’s Deputy Campaign Manager during the 2014 Gubernatorial Election. Previously, he successfully managed Bill Peduto’s campaign for Mayor of Pittsburgh in 2013 and served as Finance Director for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald from 2011-2014.

Dr. Rachel Levine – Secretary of Health

Dr. Levine is an expert in pediatrics and psychiatry. While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems.

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    She also started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program, which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In her role as physician general, Dr. Levine advises the governor and secretary of the Department of Health on medical and public health-related issues.

Patrick McDonnell – Secretary of Environmental Protection

With 15 years of experience holding a number of positions at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Patrick McDonnell brings a broad perspective to the agency’s regulatory and policy development processes.

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    Prior to being named Acting Secretary, McDonnell served as DEP’s director of policy. In addition, he ran the State Energy Office, and was charged with coordination of renewable energy and energy efficiency issues. McDonnell also served several years as executive policy manager for former Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, focusing on electric, natural gas and water issues, as well as cybersecurity and the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets.

    Secretary McDonnell began his career at DEP working in the State Energy Office on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building projects. Throughout his career, McDonnell has worked to achieve success in the nexus between energy and environmental issues.

    A native of Philadelphia, Secretary McDonnell received his Master’s degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and his Bachelor’s degree in Politics from DeSales University. He and his wife Colleen have four children, and live in Harrisburg.

Andrea Mead – Chief of Staff to the First Lady

Prior to joining the Wolf Administration, Andrea served for five years in the Obama Administration in Washington. During that time, Andrea held several communications roles, including as a press secretary to Vice President Biden, press secretary to U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk and deputy press secretary to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

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    Before her time in Washington, Andrea held positions in statewide Pennsylvania political campaigns, including as a regional press secretary for President Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 and deputy press secretary for Governor Rendell’s reelection campaign in 2006. Andrea also served in Governor Rendell’s administration as policy director for the Departments of Labor & Industry and Revenue, where she managed teams that were responsible for advancing Governor Rendell’s legislative initiatives.

    A Pennsylvania native, Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Temple University and a Master in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Harrisburg with her husband and four children.

    Andrea was sworn in as chief of staff to the First Lady on January 20, 2015.

Teresa D. Miller – Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Teresa D. Miller assumed duties as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on March 20, 2018. Previously, Miller served as Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner since January 2015, where she worked on a range of issues, including the administration’s top priorities – fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic and helping seniors.

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    Under her leadership, Miller made it clear that one of her top priorities at the Insurance Department was enforcing mental health parity laws, ensuring consumers have access to the mental health and substance use disorder treatments they need.

    Teresa has been a leader in the Wolf Administration’s efforts to protect seniors. Her work to ensure seniors in Western Pennsylvania were protected and would not lose access to their doctors helped prevent disruption in care for 180,000 by ensuring UPMC providers continued participation in Highmark’s Medicare networks through the end of the consent decrees, which expire in 2019.

    In 2017, Teresa was named chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Senior Issues Task Force. Also at the NAIC, Teresa has been a leader in taking on the current challenges of the long term care insurance markets. At her request, the NAIC created the Long Term Care Innovation Subgroup, which she chaired, to work to increase long-term care funding options for consumers, including increasing the number of affordable asset protection options available.

    Prior to coming to Pennsylvania, Miller served as acting director of the State Exchanges Group, the Oversight Group, and the Insurance Programs Group in the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Before going to Washington, Miller worked in Oregon where she fought for state adoption of mental health parity legislation, representing drug and alcohol treatment providers, social workers, the Arc of Oregon and other advocates for people with disabilities. Then, as the insurance regulator in Oregon, she worked to ensure consumers received the benefits of that law.

    Miller received her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Pacific Lutheran University.

Michael Newsome – Secretary of Administration

Michael Newsome was appointed secretary of the Office of Administration (OA) by Governor Tom Wolf. As a member of Governor Tom Wolf’s senior staff and cabinet, Newsome leads the agency responsible for oversight and administration of the enterprise functions of human resources, information technology, continuity of government and records management for nearly 80,000 employees under the governor’s jurisdiction.

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    Secretary Newsome co-chairs the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund (PEBTF), which provides health benefits to 300,000 active and retired employees and their dependents.

    Newsome previously served on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, to which he was appointed in December 2015 and confirmed in April 2016. He brings nearly four decades of private sector business experience, including accounting, finance and management, to the secretary of administration position.

    Newsome was a senior executive in the retail and wholesale distribution industry, serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Wolf Organization and playing a key role in transitioning the company from a traditional two-step distributor to a national sourcing company of kitchen and bath cabinets, decking, and other building products. He was named a 2013 finalist for CFO of the Year by the Central Penn Business Journal.

    After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lafayette College in Easton, Newsome managed information and administrative systems, among other positions, in Armstrong World Industries’ Pennsylvania and Texas locations over a period of 15 years. Following that, from 1992 until 2004, he served as controller at the York Daily Record, where he oversaw finance and accounting and human resources, including union contract negotiations and participated in the sale and transfer of newspaper ownership.

    Newsome has served in past and present roles on the boards of the York County Community Foundation, Memorial Health Systems Foundation, Crispus Attucks Charter School, York County Industrial Development Authority and York County Heritage Trust, among other organizations.

    He and his wife, Eloise, live in West Manchester Township, York County.

Mark Nicastre – Director of Communications

Prior to becoming Governor Wolf’s communications director, Mark Nicastre most recently served as Communications Director for Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s Transition Committee. Nicastre previously directed communications and media efforts as Communications Director for Tom Wolf’s campaign. Nicastre served in senior roles with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in 2010 and 2012, managing communications and assisting candidates with media outreach.

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    Earlier, Nicastre served as Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s reelection campaign in 2012. Before moving to Pennsylvania, Nicastre was the communications director for a member of the U.S. House from New Mexico, Ben Ray Lujan. Nicastre has also worked for strategic communications firms in Washington, DC – Spitfire Strategies and Mack/Crounse Group (now Mack/Sumner) – that developed candidate and issue campaigns including national public health and environmental campaigns. Nicastre earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Government with a focus in Political Communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Jerry Oleksiak – Secretary of Labor and Industry

Before joining L&I on Sept. 5, 2017, Jerry most recently served as president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) – the largest professional association in the commonwealth. Prior to becoming president in 2015, he served as PSEA vice president, treasurer, and as a member of the board of directors.

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    Jerry is especially proud of the more than three decades he spent as a classroom teacher, most of that time as a special education teacher at the Upper Merion Area School District in King of Prussia. He also served as president of the Upper Merion Area Education Association (UMAEA).

    Throughout his career, Jerry has collaborated with employers, employees, and community groups in order to create partnerships that benefit all stakeholders.

    Born and raised in Philadelphia, Jerry graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a teaching certificate in social studies in 1974. Several years later, Jerry earned a Master’s degree in Education from Saint Joseph’s, and worked to earn his special education certification through LaSalle University.

    Jerry lives in Glenside, Pa. with his wife. They have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and two grandchildren.

David “Randy” R. Padfield – Acting Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Randy Padfield has more than 30 years of experience in emergency services delivery and training, including fire/rescue, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and emergency management/incident management disciplines.

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    Prior to his tenure at PEMA as deputy director for response, he was the director of the Public Safety Training Center at Harrisburg Area Community College. Mr. Padfield is also a member of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Team where he serves as a task force leader and member of the National US&R Incident Support Team, qualified as both a division/group supervisor and air operations branch director.

    He has been involved in numerous local, regional, state and federal responses throughout his career including the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

    Mr. Padfield is a certified fire service instructor through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner as well as a contract instructor for the National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute, where he specializes in NIMS All-Hazards Incident Command System (ICS) position-specific training programs.

    He is a Certified Flight Paramedic (FP-C) through the Board for Critical Care Transport Paramedic Certification (BCCTPC) and has worked as a per diem flight paramedic for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Life Lion Critical Care Transport program for 22 years.

    He is a native of St. Clair, Schuylkill County and currently lives in Cumberland County with his wife and their two children.

Betsy H. Phillips – Director of Scheduling

Betsy started in the scheduling office in 1996 and has performed all office positions prior to being named director of the office for the Wolf Administration.

Russell Redding – Secretary of Agriculture

Russell Redding previously served as secretary of the Department of Agriculture from 2009 to 2011, where he helped establish a comprehensive economic development program that provided state funds that leveraged private capital to help agriculture expand, grow, and create jobs. Redding was also instrumental in preserving nearly 3,000 farms.

Russell Redding assumed duties as acting secretary of agriculture in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2015.

Leslie S. Richards – Secretary of Transportation

As the first woman secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Leslie S. Richards oversees one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S., with an annual budget of more than $10 billion and 11,500 employees.

Secretary Richards is making her mark on the agency by ensuring the long-term success of Pennsylvania’s transportation needs through sustainable investments.

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    These new policies include the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric driven strategic investment approach for the 12 Year Capital Program; a $2.1 billion maintenance and system preservation initiative, termed PennDOT Road MaP; and PennDOT Connects, a transformative approach that focuses on improved collaboration among all parties for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects.

    Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and her commitment to public service. Richards was appointed the first female chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and has received two Gold Stevie Awards (Female Innovator of the Year and Female Executive of the Year). She received the WTS International Woman of the Year Award for 2018, as well as the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) 2018 Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation award, the Philadelphia Business Journal 2017 Women of Distinction award and City and State PA’s 2018 Above and Beyond Distinguished Service award, among other notable honors.

    Secretary Richards takes time to speak about the importance of women occupying roles in public service and transportation. In 2017, Secretary Richards and First Lady Frances Wolf launched the Moving Women Forward tour, a series of town hall style events held at institutions of higher learning across Pennsylvania. These gatherings encourage more young women and minorities to pursue careers and leadership positions in these fields.

    In addition, she led the development of a program that trains PennDOT employees to recognize the signs of human trafficking. PennDOT is one of the first state transportation agencies in the nation to implement this type of training to recognize and report potential trafficking situations.

    Her career includes work in both the private and public sectors, including as a local government official. She served as the vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, where she led the transportation and planning initiatives for the third-largest county in the Commonwealth. In addition, Secretary Richards served as the chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as on the boards of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA). Before being elected commissioner, she served as the chair and vice chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors.

    Secretary Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Secretary Richards is a lifelong Pennsylvania resident. She lives with her husband and three children in Montgomery County.

Pedro Rivera – Secretary of Education

Pedro A. Rivera was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as the Secretary of Education on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the state Senate in June 2015. He joined the Wolf Administration after serving as Superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, a position he held from 2008-2015.

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    Under Rivera’s leadership, the School District of Lancaster developed and implemented a new curriculum, an aggressive professional development plan, and innovative classroom observation tools. These initiatives resulted in an increased graduation rate, notable improvements in math, science and writing proficiency scores, and enhanced the level of participation from high-performing students in programs that help prepare them for college and other post-graduation opportunities.

    In September 2014, Rivera was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education – one of ten recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious honor.

    He brings extensive experience in public education to his role as a member of Governor Wolf’s cabinet and has spent his entire career helping students. Prior to serving as superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, he worked as a classroom teacher, a staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia.

    Rivera is a first generation college graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in Education Administration from Cheyney University, and his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.

    Rivera was raised in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia and resides in Lancaster with his wife Erika, son Lucas and daughter Elena.

Sam Robinson – Deputy Chief of Staff

Sam Robinson joined the Wolf Administration in January 2015, serving in several roles in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning before being appointed deputy chief of staff in July 2018.

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    Prior to joining the Wolf Administration, Sam served as the deputy policy director for the Wolf for Governor Campaign and was an assistant city solicitor with the Philadelphia Law Department. A proud Philadelphian, Sam received his J.D. from The College of William & Mary and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Earlham College.

Jennifer Smith – Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Jennifer (Jen) Smith was appointed Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs in March 2018. Prior to this, she served as Acting Secretary and before that as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP).

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    Secretary Smith began her career with the commonwealth in 2004 in the Office of the Budget, beginning as an accountant and eventually becoming the office’s Director of Planning and Management in 2012 before beginning as DDAP’s Deputy Secretary in 2015.

    Since assuming the role of Secretary, she has continued the Wolf Administration’s initiative to increase drug take-back opportunities, expand access to naloxone in communities around Pennsylvania, and, alongside the Pennsylvania Department of Health, released guidelines and protocols for “warm handoffs” that help overdose survivors transition into substance use disorder treatment.

    Secretary Smith has also worked alongside Governor Wolf and other Wolf Administration Officials to ensure that fighting the opioid crisis remains a priority on the federal, state, and local levels. In 2017, the Wolf Administration secured a $26.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services as part of $1 billion included in the 21st Century Cures Act to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic and will be used by DDAP to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

    She currently resides in Jonestown with her four children. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys participating as an active member of her church.

Gregory G. Schwab – General Counsel

Gregory G. Schwab is the General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf appointed him to this position effective October 19, 2019. In this position, Greg leads the Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), and oversees the provision of legal services to the Governor, his senior staff, and over thirty (30) executive branch and independent agencies.

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    Prior to this appointment, Greg served as “First” Deputy General Counsel with OGC since July 2016. In this role, Greg assisted with managing OGC’s operations and supervising litigation, regulatory, transactional, legislative, and criminal matters for the entire executive branch. Immediately preceding this role, Greg served as Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Greg practiced in the litigation department of Saul Ewing LLP in that firm’s Philadelphia office. Greg represented clients in litigation matters in federal and state courts and other forums, and he focused his practice on representing higher education institutions and other entities in government investigations and enforcement proceedings.

    Greg has long been active in community service, including devoting significant time to pro bono matters when in private practice. Greg also served on the board of directors and executive committee of Philadelphia VIP until joining the Commonwealth in 2015. Greg volunteers at his local park and in his church’s community nutrition program, which he helped to establish and which has served thousands of meals to neighbors in need.

    Mr. Schwab received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from The Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC, and his juris doctor with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law, in Baltimore, MD. Mr. Schwab served on the editorial staff of the Maryland Law Review, and worked as a law clerk to the Hon. Susan K. Gauvey (Ret.) in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
    In 2019, The Legal Intelligencer recognized Greg as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track.”

Meg Snead – Secretary of Policy and Planning

Meg Snead assumed the role of the governor’s secretary of policy and planning in December 2018. Most recently, Meg served as a deputy policy secretary liaising on all policy development between the Governor’s Office and the policy offices at the departments of Health, Human Services, Insurance, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging.

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    In addition, she co-coordinated the governor’s broader agenda to address the opioid crisis across commonwealth agencies. Prior to joining the governor’s office, Meg was an executive policy specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, focusing on Medicaid, mental health, and substance use policy. Meg comes to the position with a background in affordable housing, homelessness, and health care policy, having spent 10 years working in the nonprofit industry in the Denver, Colorado, area. Meg has a bachelor’s in government from the University of South Carolina and a master’s in political science from the University of Colorado. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband Micah and two daughters Maeve and Sloane.

Nick Soccio – Staff Secretary

Nick Soccio was appointed as staff secretary in May of 2018. Prior to this role, he worked in the Office of Administration where he served as the director of the Bureau of State Employment and the director of senior level staffing.

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    Nick has been a part of many initiatives to streamline the hiring process, has experience in human resources, and assisted in project management. Nick is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in sociology, a minor in political science, and has a certificate in diversity in community.

Curt Topper – Secretary of General Services

In his capacity at Georgetown University, Curt Topper renegotiated service and supply arrangements and introduced business process and system improvements to reduce the University’s operating costs by more than $1 million. While serving as deputy secretary of procurement for the commonwealth from 2005 to 2008, Topper led the department’s new shared services centers for procurement, warehousing, and print production.

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    In this role, he was instrumental in modernizing and streamlining operations and played a key role in the implementation of new procurement activities. Topper also negotiated key contracts and reduced costs for the commonwealth by more than $200 million annually.

    Curt Topper assumed duties as acting secretary of general services in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 12, 2015.

Jen Swails – Secretary of the Budget

Jen Swails joined Governor Wolf’s cabinet in January 2019 and brings to the position nearly 20 years of fiscal and policy experience at the commonwealth. Jen previously served the commonwealth in the Governor’s Office of the Budget, the Department of Human Services, and the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee.

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    She most recently started and headed the newly created Shared Services Budget Office. In that position, Jen was responsible for oversight of the budgets for the departments of Aging, Health, Human Services, and Drug and Alcohol Programs and providing fiscal coordination between the agencies.

    Having started her commonwealth service as a budget analyst at the Loysville Youth Development Center and working her way up through the Department of Human Services, Jen understands the importance of appropriate budgeting to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians while protecting Pennsylvania taxpayers. While her main expertise is in child welfare, child development and early learning, and Medicaid, Jen is most proud of her nickname “Super Fun Swails”, as she brings the sunshine wherever she goes.

Robert Torres – Acting Secretary of Aging

In January, Governor Tom Wolf nominated Robert Torres to be secretary of the Department of Aging. Prior to his nomination, Robert served as acting secretary of the Department of State where he previously served as the executive deputy secretary.

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    Mr. Torres also previously worked at General Dynamics Information Technology, providing program management and business development services, and served as vice president of Health Information Technology at Capital Blue Cross.

    In previous state government service, Mr. Torres was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to serve as Pennsylvania’s health information technology coordinator. In this position, he provided leadership to help promote health information technology and advance health information exchange strategies in Pennsylvania. His efforts helped to align over 100 healthcare stakeholders to achieve passage of Act 121 of 2012 that created the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority, a public/private authority.

    Mr. Torres was also appointed by Governor Ed Rendell to serve as deputy secretary for administration at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In this role he was responsible for contract administration, information technology, health research, statistics and vital records, human resources, and management of the department’s more than $900 million budget. He was also assigned to manage and help improve the delivery of health, support, and outreach services to families and children funded through the federal Maternal and Child Health programs.

    Mr. Torres is an attorney who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pace University and a law degree from Widener University School of Law. He serves on the board of directors of the United Way of the Capital Region and the Harrisburg Latino Hispanic American Community Center.

Bruce Trego – State Fire Commissioner

Bruce Trego has worked for the Office of the State Fire Commissioner since 2002 and previously served as administrator, incident management team program manager, and Homeland Security training coordinator of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy in Lewistown. He has been involved in fire service for more than 40 years, serving as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief.

John Wetzel – Secretary of Corrections

John Wetzel, widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in corrections today, was appointed Secretary of Corrections for the Department of Corrections (DOC) in January 2011 by Governor Corbett and reappointed by Governor Wolf in January 2015.

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    During his tenure there has been an elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1,500 inmates per year, presiding over the first population reduction in PA in more than four decades, and a restructuring of the agency’s community corrections and mental health systems along with a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient system of program delivery. He has more than 27 years of experience in the corrections field, including corrections officer, treatment counselor, warden and training academy director.

    Mr. Wetzel has been selected as chair of the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center’s Executive Board and Vice President of the Association of State Corrections Administrators. He is a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections, which is a joint project of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Institute of Justice and consists of 30 of the leading policymakers, practitioners and researchers nationally. This joint project is an effort to shape the meaning and future of community corrections policy in the U.S. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University. In May 2016, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania presented to him an honorary doctor of laws.

Robin Wiessmann – Secretary of Banking and Securities

Robin L. Wiessmann was nominated by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in January 2015 to serve as Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking and Securities, and was confirmed to this position by the Pennsylvania Senate in June 2015. Most recently, she was approved to serve on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

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    Secretary Wiessmann provides overall leadership to an agency that supervises 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and trust companies; licenses more than 20,000 consumer lenders, including mortgage lenders, auto sales finance companies, consumer discount companies, and debt services companies; and registers more than 200,000 investment advisers, investment adviser representatives, investment adviser notice filers, broker-dealers, and broker-dealer agents.

    Since joining the department, she reorganized several consumer outreach and education components of the department’s work into a single unit, Financial Services for Consumers and Business. Under her guidance, the department created a Cybersecurity Task Force, one of the first in the nation among state regulators to provide businesses access to resources and industry best practices to bolster cybersecurity policies and practices. She provides leadership for Governor Tom Wolf’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative, which works to protect consumers and business from illegal lending from out-of-state entities; protect senior citizens from financial abuse; and help working adults save for retirement. She created a financial information exchange that coordinates efforts of more than 20 state government agencies. She regularly posts on regulatory and financial issues on Twitter (@rlwiessmann).

    By virtue of her position as Secretary of Banking and Securities, Wiessmann serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Banking and Securities Commission, and on the boards of the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority, the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority, the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, and the Certified Real Estate Appraisers Board.

    Secretary Wiessmann has enjoyed a long career in commercial banking, investment banking, regulatory matters, and government service. She has served as the Pennsylvania Treasurer; Deputy Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia; was a Founding Principal and President of Artemis Capital Group, the first women-owned investment banking firm on Wall Street; Vice President of Public Finance at Goldman Sachs; served as Chairman of the Board of an Act 40 company, Vantagepoint Funds Mutual Fund; and chaired the Nominating Committee and served on the Steering Committee and Audit Committee of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The Women’s City Club of New York has awarded her the Civic Spirit Award, and the National Women Executives in State Government Association has awarded her the “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award.” In January 2014 the organization Women in Public Finance honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her representation of women in the financial industry. She graduated from Lafayette College and earned a law degree from Rutgers University.