Cabinet and Executive Officials

Governor’s Executive Staff

Elena Cross – Chief of Staff
Will Danowski – Secretary of Legislative Affairs
Rob Ghormoz – Senior Advisor
Jack Groarke – Deputy Chief of Staff for Federal Affairs
Eric Hagarty – Deputy Chief of Staff
Allison Jones – Secretary of Policy and Planning
Lyndsay Kensinger – Press Secretary
Kate Landis – Chief Digital Officer
Michael Newsome – Secretary of Administration
Mark Nicastre – Director of Communications
Jalila Parker – Deputy Chief of Staff
Betsy Phillips – Director of Scheduling
Tara Piechowicz – Deputy Chief of Staff
Sam Robinson – Deputy Chief of Staff
Gregory G. Schwab – General Counsel
Nick Soccio – Executive Deputy Chief of Staff
Gregory Thall – Secretary of the Budget
Jennifer Wilburne – Chief of Staff to the First Lady
TJ Yablonski – Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs

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
Alison Beam – Acting Secretary of Health
Jennifer Berrier – Secretary of Labor and Industry
Dennis M. Davin – Secretary of Community and Economic Development
Veronica Degraffenreid – Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth
Cindy Dunn – Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources
Colonel Robert Evanchick – State Police Commissioner
Kaitlyn Floyd – Special Assistant to the Governor
Yassmin Gramian – Secretary of Transportation
C. Daniel Hassell – Secretary of Revenue
Denise A. Johnson, MD – Physician General
Patrick McDonnell – Secretary of Environmental Protection
Lucas Miller – Inspector General
David “Randy” R. Padfield – Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
Russell Redding – Secretary of Agriculture
Noe Ortega – Secretary of Education
Major General Mark J. Schindler – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs
Jennifer Smith – Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Meg Snead – Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Curt Topper – Secretary of General Services
Robert Torres – Secretary of Aging
Bruce Trego – State Fire Commissioner
John Wetzel – Secretary of Corrections
Richard Vague – Secretary of Banking and Securities

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 – Acting Secretary of Health

Bio to come.

Jennifer Berrier – Secretary of Labor and Industry

Prior to this appointment, Jennifer gained broad knowledge of L&I through 15 years of impactful and rewarding experience, while serving various leadership roles within the agency. Most recently, she served as Deputy Secretary for Safety and Labor-Management Relations.

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    As Deputy Secretary, Jennifer was honored to oversee four bureaus that helped vulnerable workers, certified the safety of buildings and other building components, ensured that individuals with disabilities who are unable to work receive social security benefits, and facilitated resolutions in labor mediations and arbitrations.

    Previously, Jennifer served as the Director for the Bureau of Occupational & Industrial Safety and prosecuted labor and employment law cases as legal counsel to the department.

    Born in Washington state and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Jennifer is a graduate of York College and earned her Juris Doctor from Widener University.

    Jennifer currently resides in Harrisburg, Pa., with her four-legged friend, a Boston Terrier/Poodle named “Puck”.

Elena Cross – Chief of Staff

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 Chief of Staff to the governor in Pennsylvania on June 26, 2021.

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.

Veronica Degraffenreid – Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth

Veronica Degraffenreid was appointed Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth on February 8, 2021. In this role, Degraffenreid leads the Pennsylvania Department of State.

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    The mission of the Department is to promote the integrity of the electoral process, to support economic development through corporate filings and transactions, and to protect the health and safety of the public through professional licensure. The department upholds the highest standards of ethics and competence in the areas of elections, campaign finance, notarization, professional and occupational licensure, charitable solicitation, and professional boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.

    Degraffenreid joined the Department on February 10, 2020, as the Special Advisor on Election Modernization. Previously, Degraffenreid served as Director of Election Operations for the North Carolina State Board of Elections where, for six years, she managed a team of election technology and election program specialists responsible for providing training, support and administrative oversight to North Carolina’s 100 county boards of elections. The program areas under her supervision included voter registration, voting processes, precinct and voting site administration, election event administration and voting systems. She led efforts to modernize North Carolina’s aging statewide voter registration and election management system and developed the state’s first voting systems certification program.

    Prior to joining the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Degraffenreid was a Special Litigation Legal Assistant with the North Carolina Department of Justice for nearly 10 years, specializing in redistricting and election-related litigation.

    Degraffenreid is a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. She is married and the proud mom of two daughters in college and one son in high school.

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.

Colonel Robert Evanchick – State Police Commissioner

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.

Kaitlyn Floyd – Special Assistant to the Governor

Kaitlyn Floyd is a graduate of Bloomsburg University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She joined the Wolf Administration in 2020 as a Correspondence Specialist. Prior to that role, she previously held an internship in the Governor’s Office in 2019 in the Correspondence Office, the Constituent Affairs Office, and the First Lady’s Office.

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.

Rob Ghormoz – Senior Advisor

Rob brings years of experience working in both politics and government, and has previously served in a number of roles in Governor Wolf’s administration, including as the Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Speechwriter, and the Special Assistant to the Governor.

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    He has also served Governor Wolf outside of government, working in senior roles on both of Governor Wolf’s gubernatorial campaigns. Prior to joining Governor Wolf, Rob served as the Special Assistant to United States Senator Bob Casey.

Jack Groarke – Deputy Chief of Staff for Federal Affairs

Jack Groarke has years of experience in government and has served in senior roles for Senator Casey in both Pennsylvania and Washington. Most recently, Jack served as Senator Casey’s Economic Development Director.

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.

Allison Jones – Secretary of Policy and Planning

Allison Jones was appointed Secretary of Policy and Planning in April 2021. In this role, Allison leads the development and implementation of the Governor’s policy priorities across all commonwealth agencies. She previously served as Deputy Secretary of Policy and Planning, focusing on education, workforce development, and labor issues, and as Executive Director of the PA Workforce Development Board.

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    Prior to joining the Governor’s Administration, Allison served as Assistant Commissioner of Policy and Policy Director at the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, where she led the policy development, legislative strategy, and federal government relations for Minnesota’s workforce, economic, and community development agency. She also served as Senior Policy Advisor to former MN Governor Mark Dayton, where she managed a diverse portfolio of issues, including workforce and economic development, labor, housing, broadband and telecommunications, elections and campaign finance, veterans and military affairs, Tribal-State relations, and gaming.

    Allison is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Denise A. Johnson, MD – Physician General

Denise A. Johnson, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at Meadville Medical Center. She joined the administrative team in 2008. Dr. Johnson received her Medical Degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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    Prior to joining the leadership team, Dr. Johnson spent 13 years in private practice in Meadville. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Johnson is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves as one of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commissioners for Women. She has been involved in various community and regional groups focusing on the needs of women and is the current board chair of the Meadville Area Free Clinic. She is past chair of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

Lyndsay Kensinger – Press Secretary

Lyndsay assumed the role of Press Secretary in March of 2020. Formerly, she served as a Deputy Press Secretary in the Governor’s Office, and served two administrations at the Department of Community and Economic Development. Lyndsay also served as the governor’s liaison to several agencies including PennDOT, DCED, Agriculture, DEP, and DCNR.

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    Prior to joining the commonwealth in 2013, Lyndsay worked in both the non-profit and private sectors, including as Director of Communications and Community Relations for the ARC of Oswego County (NY), Executive Director of Communities in Schools of the Capital Region (PA), and an Account Executive at Tierney Public Relations in Harrisburg.

    Kensinger earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communications from Penn State University.

Kate Landis – Chief Digital Officer

Kate Landis joined the Wolf Administration in March 2015, serving in several roles before assuming the role of chief digital officer in March 2020.

Kate is a graduate of Gettysburg College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature.

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.

Lucas Miller – Inspector General

Lucas M. Miller was appointed Inspector General by Governor Tom Wolf on January 2, 2020. Miller previously served as the Deputy State Inspector General, where he oversaw the office’s daily operations and its transition to becoming a law enforcement agency.

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    Miller earned his comprehensive knowledge of the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) through twenty years of experience with the office, beginning his career with OSIG soon after college. Miller has held numerous positions within the Office, working his way up after starting as a Claims Investigation Agent in the Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution (BFPP). In that role, he developed hands-on experience conducting investigations and interviewing witnesses and suspects to build cases against those who defrauded the welfare system.

    He was then promoted to the position of Welfare Fraud Investigator Supervisor, where he trained and worked with OSIG investigators and agents to further their investigations. He also realized the important part the OSIG has in ensuring those who are truly entitled to benefits receive them. A benefits system must be built on integrity, and OSIG is designed to maintain that integrity.

    Upon his promotion to the role of Operations Manager for the Central Region, Miller began to turn his attention toward what has become a career-long focus: increasing government efficiency through streamlining processes. He led a team through a detailed process review of the Long-Term Care Program, working with staff to codify existing and institute new procedures that would more efficiently implement the program.

    Miller soon became a bureau director, where he led the consolidation of two separate bureaus into the Bureau of Administration, Policy, and Training, saving taxpayer money and creating more effective business processes. He was responsible for the overall administration of the agency, along with extensive policy, program, and regulatory review.

    Miller then returned to BFPP where he brought his experience from administering the OSIG’s core functions. As the bureau’s director, he instituted regular meetings between the OSIG and his counterpart at OSIG’s largest client, DHS. These meetings fostered new and innovative coordination between the agencies, leading to the creation of the Electronic Referral System. Under Miller’s direction, OSIG and DHS developed and implemented this system that removed wasteful processes, eliminated all paper, allowed for instantaneous referrals, optimized travel to DHS County Assistance Offices, and greatly limited costly physical file storage.

    Miller has spent his career working to make state government function better, and he continued that work in his role as the Deputy State Inspector General. Subsequent to enacting legislation, Miller led the OSIG’s executive staff in developing a new OSIG training program, working with the Harrisburg Area Community College. This new training program eventually led to what is now the Commonwealth Investigator Training Program. The OSIG’s success in improving government operations and investigative processes have not gone unnoticed nationally, and Miller has presented at conferences across the United States.

    A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Miller lives with his family in Hampden Township.

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.

Jalila Parker – Deputy Chief of Staff

Bio to come.

Noe Ortega – Secretary of Education

Noe Ortega was nominated to serve as Secretary of Education in October 2020. Prior to his nomination, he had served as the Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education (OPHE) at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

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    As commissioner for higher education, he led the work of the agency aimed at closing the postsecondary attainment gaps that have persisted among historically underrepresented populations and communities of color in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Mr. Ortega facilitated the efforts of the department to improve the diversity of Pennsylvania’s educator workforce and to ensure that every student of the Commonwealth has access to educators who have been trained in culturally responsive and culturally relevant approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom.

    Prior to joining PDE, Mr. Ortega spent eight years at the University of Michigan, where he held several academic and administrative roles. During his tenure he worked as the Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and as the Managing Director for the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. While most of his research focused on postsecondary access and success for all students, his most recent publications examine how public investment in higher education influences decision-making at colleges and universities. Additionally, Mr. Ortega spent nearly a decade working in the areas of financial aid and enrollment management at both public and private universities in Texas, and he also served as a P-16 Specialist for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Mr. Ortega also spent nearly seven years as director of a language institute in Japan where he trained teachers in the area of early childhood language acquisition.

David “Randy” R. Padfield – 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.

Tara Piechowicz – Deputy Chief of Staff

Tara Piechowicz assumed duties as a Deputy Chief of Staff in January 2021. She has served in a number of policy positions in Governor Wolf’s administration since January 2017, including as Deputy Secretary of the Governor’s Office of Policy & Planning and Policy Director for the Department of Human Services.

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    Prior to joining the Governor’s Administration, Tara was the Policy Director for the National Association of Social Workers—Pennsylvania Chapter. Tara also practiced as a licensed social worker in central Pennsylvania, working with families and young children in early intervention. Tara received her master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor’s in social work from Messiah College.

    Tara lives in Harrisburg with her husband, Adrian, and her stepdaughter, Ember.

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.

Yassmin Gramian – Secretary of Transportation

Yassmin Gramian, PE, serves as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) where she oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways.

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    She manages PennDOT’s annual budget which is invested in Pennsylvania’s approximately 120,000 miles of state and local highways and 32,000 state and local bridges. Under her leadership, the department is directly responsible for nearly 40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,400 bridges.

    She also has oversight of the state’s 11.8 million vehicle registrations and 10.3 million driver’s licenses and IDs.

    Drawing on her years of technical expertise as an engineer in the transportation and infrastructure industry, she is focused on developing these forward-looking strategies that deliver innovative solutions for communities and transportation networks across the Commonwealth.

    Gramian has more than 30 years of experience in operations, design, and management of transportation infrastructure systems, including highway, tolling, bridge, and railroad projects. She brings to her role at PennDOT strong working relationships with transportation authorities and governments across the Pennsylvania region, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Philadelphia International Airport, Delaware River Port Authority, SEPTA, AMTRAK and the City of Philadelphia.

    Prior to joining PennDOT she served as a senior vice president and business development director for a leading international engineering firm. She was responsible for growth of the company’s transportation and infrastructure sector in the Northeast Region.

    She previously served as senior vice president for a global architecture, civil engineering and construction management firm, with responsibility for operations across Pennsylvania – namely in Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Known for leading with an “all-in” approach to solving challenges, Yassmin also has experience at other well-known regional and global engineering firms.

    In her career, she was responsible for several signature projects, including Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Boulevard Multi-modal Corridor Program, SEPTA Subway Concourse Improvement Project, Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, PATCO Ben Franklin Bridge Track Rehabilitation, PennDOT’s Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project’s US-15 Susquehanna River Bridge, and Philadelphia Airport Terminal F Modernization. Her work in Pennsylvania has resulted in numerous awards, including 2013 Best Project award by Engineering News-Record Mid-Atlantic and multiple awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania.

    Yassmin earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Michigan and completed the Tuck Management Training Program at Dartmouth College. Yassmin is a professional engineer in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Florida. She previously served on the boards of PhilaPort (the Port of Philadelphia), American Council of Engineering Companies of PA, the March of Dimes Annual Transportation, Building & Construction Awards Luncheon, Transportation Management Association of Chester County, Policy Committee of Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, and Bridge Committee of Association of Pennsylvania Constructors.

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.

Major General Mark J. Schindler – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs

Major General Mark J. Schindler assumed duties as The Adjutant General of Pennsylvania on December 5, 2020, and was confirmed by the Senate of Pennsylvania as the 54th Adjutant General of Pennsylvania on June 21, 2021. In this Cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, headquartered at Ft. Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania, General Schindler oversees a combined state and federal budget of over $966 million; is responsible for the command and control of approximately 18,500 National Guard members; a complement of 2,500 commonwealth employees; and six state-owned Veterans homes and programs for Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 Veterans.

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    Prior to this appointment, he served as Assistant Adjutant General, PA Army National Guard; Chief of Staff, PA National Guard; and served in a variety of command and staff positions within the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. General Schindler deployed as commander of the 55th Military Engagement Team in Jordan during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012-2013.

    General Schindler was born in Buffalo, New York. He received a two-year ROTC scholarship from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and was commissioned in 1987, earning a bachelor’s degree in communications. He went on to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree in communications in 1989, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2011.

    His military education includes: Signal Corps Officer Basic Course and Advanced Course; U.S. Army War College; Harvard University, Leadership in Homeland Security Course; and the Senior Leadership Course, Baltic Defense College.

    His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (4th Award); Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award); Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award); Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (5th Award); National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2nd Award); Army Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (5th Award); and Global War on Terror Medal.

    General Schindler and his wife, Colette, have two adult children, David and Beth Rose. They currently reside in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania.

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.

Meg Snead – Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Meg Snead assumed the role of Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on April 19, 2021.

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    Most recently, Meg served as Governor Wolf’s Secretary of Policy and Planning overseeing the administration’s development and implementation of policy priorities, including the COVID-19 pandemic response, ensuring access to health care, and breaking barriers to critical human services. Meg comes to Pennsylvania with a background in affordable housing, homelessness, and health care policy, having spent 10 years working in the nonprofit industry in the Denver 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.

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.”

Nick Soccio – Executive Deputy Chief of Staff

Before transferring to the Governor’s Office, Nick served in the Office of Administration for a number of years. Since transferring to the Governor’s Office, he served as the Director of Administration, Staff Secretary, and Deputy Chief of Staff.

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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.

Gregory Thall – Secretary of the Budget

Gregory Thall has spent more than a dozen years in various capacities working on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most recently as Special Advisor to the Budget Secretary, where he has served since December 2016.

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    Prior to his work in the Office of the Budget, he served as Deputy General Counsel in the Governor’s Office of General Counsel and was Senior Transition Advisor to the Wolf Transition Team. He also held the position of Deputy Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee, under the Chairmanship of Senator Vincent Hughes.

    Earlier in his career, Thall was the Assistant Director of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

    Thall earned his Juris Doctor from the Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, PA, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He graduated from Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia.

    He is also a PSIA level III ski instructor and enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and their dogs.

Robert Torres – 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.

Richard Vague – Secretary of Banking and Securities

Bio coming soon.

Jennifer Wilburne – Chief of Staff to the First Lady

Jen, a proud Pennsylvania native, joined the Wolf Administration in October 2018 as part of the Governor’s Correspondence Office. She assumed the role of Chief of Staff to First Lady Frances Wolf in January 2020.

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    Prior to working in state government, Jen was a freelance writer, editor, and social media consultant, as well as the co-owner of a vintage store. She is a graduate of Penn State University, where she studied communications.

    Jen lives in Harrisburg with her husband, Drew, and her daughter, Audrey.

TJ Yablonski – Secretary of Intergovernmental Affairs

Bio to come.