Cabinet and Executive Officials

Governor’s Executive Staff

Mike Brunelle – Chief of Staff
J.J. Abbott – Press Secretary
Randy Albright – Secretary of the Budget
Yesenia Bane – Deputy Chief of Staff
Elena Cross – Deputy Chief of Staff
Will Danowski – Secretary of Legislative Affairs
Sarah Galbally – Secretary of Policy and Planning
Rob Ghormoz – Deputy Chief of Staff
Eric Gutshall – Director of Constituent Services
Eric Hagarty – Deputy Chief of Staff
Obra S. Kernodle IV – Deputy Chief of Staff
Andrea Mead – Chief of Staff to the First Lady
Sharon Minnich – Secretary of Administration
Mark Nicastre – Director of Communications
Betsy Phillips – Director of Scheduling
Mark Smith – Deputy Chief of Staff
Denise Smyler – General Counsel
Mary Topper – Director, Office of Public Liaison

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.

Bruce R. Beemer – Inspector General
Colonel Tyree C. Blocker – Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner
Brigadier General Anthony J. Carrelli – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs
Pedro Cortés – Secretary of Department of State
Dennis M. Davin – Secretary of Community and Economic Development
Ted Dallas – Secretary of Human Services
Cindy Dunn – Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources
Richard Flinn – Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
Dr. Rachel Levine – Physician General
Kathy Manderino – Secretary of Labor and Industry
Patrick McDonnell – Secretary of Environmental Protection
Eileen H. McNulty – Secretary of Revenue
Teresa D. Miller – Insurance Commissioner
Dr. Karen Murphy – Secretary of Health
Teresa Osborne – Secretary of Aging
Russell Redding – Secretary of Agriculture
Leslie S. Richards – Secretary of Transportation
Pedro Rivera – Secretary of Education
Jennifer Smith – Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Timothy Solobay – Office of Fire Commissioner
Curt Topper – Secretary of General Services
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.

Randy Albright – Secretary of the Budget

Randy Albright has nearly three decades of experience in Pennsylvania state government, and he brings a detailed knowledge of the state budget and finances. Albright has drafted numerous pieces of job creation legislation, including the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund.

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He has also played a key role in developing cost-savings and passing revenue generating policies over four administrations.

Randy Albright assumed duties as secretary of the budget in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015.

Yesenia Bane – Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Before joining the Wolf Administration, Yesenia Bane served as a Senior Transition Advisor to Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s Transition Committee. Before joining Wolf’s Transition Committee, Bane served as Chief of Staff for Senator Rob Teplitz of the 15th Senatorial District.

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Before that, she worked as a Program and Policy Coordinator for Education Voters PA. She also worked in the administration of former Governor Ed Rendell, including the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Albright College.

Yesenia Bane assumed duties as Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor of Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015.

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.

Colonel Tyree C. Blocker – Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner

Tyree C. Blocker started his career with the Pennsylvania State Police in 1975 as a trooper, working in patrol, criminal investigation, staff services and organized crime with Troops J, T, K, and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

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Colonel Blocker worked his way up through the ranks over a 30 year career with the State Police, retiring in 2005 with the rank of major and was responsible for investigative, patrol and administrative operations of 3 Troops, comprised of 13 locations and 750 Troopers in 10 counties including Philadelphia. During his three decades with the State Police, Colonel Blocker supervised units related to identification records, automotive activities, procurement and supplies, communications, and community relations; worked in all facets of criminal investigation, and the gathering of intelligence, as well as the active participation in various multi-agency, multi-state task forces; supervised hundreds of troopers while running the administrative, financial and operational aspects of numerous counties as well as providing support for local law enforcement; and reorganized the Bureau of Drug Law Enforcement to address the sophistication and complexity of drug trafficking in the commonwealth. After retiring from the State Police, Colonel Blocker worked at George Mason University serving as a technical adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and then as an advisor to the minister of national security for the Trinidad and Tobago government. Colonel Blocker also served as president of Silver Seals Consulting and currently owns Future Gem Fitness Corporation. Colonel Blocker resides in New London Township in Chester County with his wife, Janice.

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.

Brigadier General Anthony J. Carrelli – Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs

Brigadier 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, Brig. Gen. Carrelli 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 894,000 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.

Brig. Gen. 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, Brig. Gen. 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.

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

Pedro Cortés – Secretary of Department of State

Pedro Cortés, a native of Puerto Rico, began his career in 1993 at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. From 2003 to 2010, Pedro served as secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor Edward G. Rendell, making him the first confirmed Latino cabinet member and longest serving secretary of state in Pennsylvania history.

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Prior to being appointed secretary of the Commonwealth, Pedro served as executive director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs for three years beginning in March 2000. Pedro became a partner with the law firm of Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer and Kupersmith. He holds a J.D. from Penn State Dickinson School of Law, M.P.A. from Penn State Harrisburg and B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Pedro currently resides in Harrisburg with his wife, Lissette Lizardi-Cortés, and their daughter, Gabriela.

Pedro Cortés assumed duties as acting secretary of state in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 2, 2015.

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.

Ted Dallas – Secretary of Human Services

Ted Dallas returned to DHS in January 2015 when Governor Tom Wolf named Dallas acting secretary. He was confirmed as secretary in June 2015. Dallas had previously served at DHS as the agency’s executive deputy secretary from 2005 to 2010.

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As secretary, Dallas oversees Pennsylvania’s Medicaid and social services programs, serving approximately 2.8 million annually. The Department has a budget of $36 billion in federal and state funds and includes over 16,000 employees. Since Dallas became secretary, DHS has successfully completed a Medicaid expansion that has provided health insurance for over 700,000 Pennsylvanians that were previously uninsured and enrolled an additional 18,000 kids in the CHIP program. Additionally, more people are being served in the community through the Centers of Excellence – offering substance abuse services and supports in the midst of the opioid epidemic sweeping this state and across the nation.

Secretary Dallas also led the department in improving customer service in processing applications and other requests faster than ever before, and adding new staff and procedures to answer calls more quickly and efficiently. In 2016 alone, the department helped more than 54,000 Pennsylvanians transition from cash assistance to employment, provided summer jobs for kids across the state, and worked with other state agencies to come up with a comprehensive and statewide plan to help individuals living with a disability integrate into the workforce. In addition, the department recovered and avoided $648 million in costs – that’s a $65 million increase from the previous year and the most in about five years.

Prior to his return to DHS, Dallas worked for the state of Maryland, first serving as Governor Martin O’Malley’s deputy chief of staff before leading Maryland’s Department of Human Resources (DHR), where he oversaw 6,600 employees and a budget of more than $2.7 billion. Under his stewardship, Maryland’s DHR transitioned 24,000 people from welfare-to-work, safely reduced the number of children in foster care to the lowest level in 25 years, and increased the number of children served in family settings to the highest ever. The agency also set state records for the most child support collected and decreased Maryland’s food stamp error rate by 70 percent.

Dallas has also worked in the private sector at a Fortune 500 company that provides business processing outsourcing services to the public sector. His life in public service also includes serving as the City of Philadelphia’s first Deputy Managing Director. Secretary Dallas grew up in Montgomery County. He earned an undergraduate degree in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from Temple University.

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.

Richard Flinn – Director of Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

While at FEMA, Flinn has overseen the development and implementation of standard operating procedures, policies, and doctrine that has institutionalized watch procedures including trigger points for notifications and checklists for actions that watch officers take, when an incident occurs and who and when senior leaders are notified. While previously at the commonwealth, Flinn supervised the acquisition and development of Pennsylvania’s crisis management system and he led the development of a $250 million federal grant.

Sarah Galbally – Secretary of Policy and Planning

Prior to joining the Wolf Administration in January 2015 as deputy secretary for policy and planning, Sarah Galbally served as the policy director for the Wolf for Governor Campaign. Sarah has experience in both the government and nonprofit sectors.

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As a graduate student, she worked for the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority focusing on municipal financial policy and as a mayor’s Intern for the City of Philadelphia where she performed a functional audit of in-kind services provided between the School District of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia. Prior to that, Sarah ran the community volunteer programs, family initiatives, and special projects for a children’s literacy organization in Philadelphia. A Pennsylvania native, Sarah has a B.A. in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.A. from Villanova University.

Rob Ghormoz – Deputy Chief of Staff

Prior to serving in his current role, Rob Ghormoz served as Special Assistant to Governor Wolf during the first year of his administration. Prior to joining Governor Wolf’s administration, Ghormoz served on the Wolf Transition Committee as the Special Assistant to the Governor-Elect and the Wolf for Governor campaign as the Director of Advance Operations. Before that, Ghormoz served as the Personal Aide to Senator Robert P. Casey. Ghormoz was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn State University.

Eric Gutshall – Director of Constituent Services

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.

Obra S. Kernodle IV – Deputy Chief of Staff

Obra S. Kernodle IV will replace Representative Evans as the governor’s appointee on the SEPTA board. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kernodle is a graduate of Roman Catholic High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 2002.

Most recently, before his appointment as a member of Governor Wolf’s senior staff, Obra was a senior advisor for Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team.

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Prior to joining the Wolf for Governor Campaign, Obra worked in Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Administration as Deputy of Legislative Affairs, helping to coordinate the city’s Actual Value Initiative. In 2012, Obra was part of President Obama’s reelection effort as the Pennsylvania Southeast Political Director. Obra currently sits on the boards of Visit Philly and Welcome America.

Dr. Rachel Levine – Physician General

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.

Dr. Rachel Levine assumed duties as acting physician general in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 9, 2015.

Kathy Manderino – Secretary of Labor and Industry

Kathy Manderino is currently running a campaign to establish a fair funding formula for Pennsylvania’s public schools, and prior to that, she was the senior vice president of Intercommunity Action, Inc, a human services agency with more than 200 employees and annual revenue of $20 million. Prior to that, Manderino served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 18 years.

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As head of the Department of Labor & Industry, Manderino will play a lead role in helping unemployed individuals get back to work by providing resources for job seekers to get job training and promoting economic development across the commonwealth. Manderino will also work with the governor to strengthen the middle class by creating jobs that offer sustainable employment and living wages.

Kathy Manderino assumed duties as acting secretary of labor and industry in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2015.

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.

Eileen H. McNulty – Secretary of Revenue

Eileen McNulty was a public policy consultant from 2013 until she began serving as acting secretary of revenue in 2015. Before that she served as the quality assurance director in the Office of Comptroller Operations, part of the Office of the Budget, for Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2013.

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Prior to that, she was the deputy accountability officer for the commonwealth’s Stimulus Accountability Office. Before becoming deputy accountability officer, McNulty was the chief financial officer with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. From 2003 to 2006, McNulty served as executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, and she served as revenue secretary under Governor Casey from January 1991 through January 1995. McNulty graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Economics.

Eileen McNulty assumed duties as acting secretary of revenue in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 9, 2015.

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 two young children.

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

Teresa D. Miller – Insurance Commissioner

Teresa D. Miller was appointed Insurance Commissioner by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on January 20, 2015, and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on June 3, 2015.

The Wolf Administration has made consumer protection the top priority of the Insurance Department. During her term as Insurance Commissioner, Miller has increased the department’s consumer protection, outreach, and education efforts, and has made the department’s operations more transparent.

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Along these lines, Miller has established a one-stop webpage for consumer information on residential flood insurance, including private market insurance, which is often less costly for homeowners than the federal government’s flood coverage.

Miller has been working to protect consumers from surprise balance bills, where a patient makes a good faith effort to seek in-network care, but receives an out-of-network service, and is billed. After a public hearing on the issue, Miller developed a proposal to take consumers out of the middle of these disputes.

Responding to concerns about a so-called “widow’s penalty”, where a surviving spouse is charged a higher auto insurance rate after a husband or wife died, the commissioner issued a notice to insurers stating under law any rate increases for a widow or widower must be based on risk alone.
As part of Governor Wolf’s efforts to battle opioid addiction, Miller made it clear that one of her top priorities is enforcing mental health parity laws, ensuring consumers have access to the mental health and substance use disorder treatments they need.

In October 2015, on Miller’s recommendation, Governor Wolf announced 3D annual screening mammograms are to be covered at no cost to the patient as state law requires for all mammograms. Previously, women were being charged the difference between 3D and traditional 2D mammograms when accessing this critical preventive service.

Believing the sooner people learn how to be savvy insurance consumers the better, the Insurance Department, in conjunction with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), developed a lesson for high school students on auto insurance called “Insurance 101.”
In addition to the Department’s work, Miller is a national leader on insurance issues that impact consumers. At the NAIC, she chairs the Senior Issues Task Force and its Long-Term Care Innovation Subgroup, which is examining the future of private solutions to long-term care financing, with a focus on removing barriers to pursue concrete solutions that can pave the way for the private market to play a more meaningful role in financing the long-term care needs of society. She is also on the CBO’s panel of health advisers, offering input on the potential impact federal policies and proposed legislation may have on health care consumers.

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 served as the administrator of the Oregon Insurance Division.
Miller received her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Pacific Lutheran University.

Sharon Minnich – Secretary of Administration

Sharon Minnich has extensive experience in state government in the areas of administration, information technology, budget, tax and revenue, and procurement. She has served as the assistant chief information officer for the Commonwealth; chief information officer for the Department of Revenue; deputy secretary for financial administration in the Governor’s Office of the Budget; and deputy secretary for procurement at the Department of General Services.

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In these roles, Minnich improved operations and managed significant process and system changes. She led the implementation of a new financial shared services model for Pennsylvania, the implementation of Pennsylvania’s tax amnesty project, and the state’s ERP implementation. In addition to her work in state government, Minnich, 45, has worked as a consultant in the private sector, specializing in procurement and technology. Her experience includes positions at Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Meridian Bank, SAP Business Consulting, Phoenix Consulting Services and Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Minnich has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Albright College and a Master’s Degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sharon Minnich assumed duties as secretary of administration in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015.

Dr. Karen Murphy – Secretary of Health

Dr. Karen Murphy was formerly the director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Dr. Murphy has an extensive career in healthcare administration and consulting. She was the former president and chief executive officer of the Moses Taylor Health Care System. Prior to becoming CEO of Moses Taylor Health Care System, Dr. Murphy served in various roles in health care administration.

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As founding chief executive officer of Physicians Health Alliance, Inc. (PHA), Dr. Murphy also led an integrated medical group practice within Moses Taylor Health Care System. Dr. Murphy recently served as a clinical faculty member in the Medicine Department at The Commonwealth Medical College. Dr. Murphy earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, a Master of Business Administration from Marywood University, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Scranton, and a diploma as a registered nurse from the Scranton State Hospital School of Nursing.

Dr. Karen Murphy assumed duties as acting secretary of health in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2015.

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.

Teresa Osborne – Secretary of Aging

Teresa Osborne was a catalyst in the effort to enact “Peggy’s Law,” which was designed to enhance Pennsylvania’s response to elder abuse and exploitation. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Lackawanna County Department of Human Services and the Administrator of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging.

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During that time, she helped to form the Northeast Behavioral Health Care Consortium (NBHCC), a four-county, non-profit, which implemented Pennsylvania’s managed care program serving over 90,000 members who receive Medical Assistance, and served on the Mayor of Scranton Task Force on Law Enforcement & Mental Health, which helped to create the Scranton Area Crisis Intervention Team.

Teresa Osborne assumed duties as acting secretary of aging in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2015.

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

In her two years as Secretary of PennDOT, Leslie S. Richards has instituted new Strategic Directions based upon a policy of sustainable infrastructure investments as well as innovation throughout the Department.

She instituted the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric driven strategic investment approach for the 12 Year Capital Program where progress toward reducing structurally deficient bridges and accomplishing more roadway reconstruction in each District and Planning Region was measured and benchmarked toward statewide goals.

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In addition, the Secretary recently announced a $2.1 billion maintenance and system preservation initiative, termed PennDOT Road MaP, to address improved maintenance of the state’s 40,000 miles of roads along with an increased emphasis on the interstate system.

She also launched a new initiative, called PennDOT Connects, for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects. This new policy will enhance PennDOT’s collaboration with our local governments and ensure that the Department’s investments consider the mobility needs of our communities in project design.

Her vision is a PennDOT with continuing improved efficiencies to meet the funding challenges ahead, a diversified workforce that offers employees fulfilling career opportunities, and a broadened planning and project development process that considers input from all stakeholders reflecting a truly multi-modal approach.

She recently was honored in New York City with the 2016 Gold Stevie Awards for Female Innovator of the Year and Female Executive of the Year. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, she has also served her township and county as a local elected official in Montgomery County while working in various capacities in the planning and engineering fields.

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.

Mark Smith – Deputy Chief of Staff

Previous to joining the Wolf Administration, Mark Smith served nearly two terms as county commissioner in Bradford County. He became the youngest chair of the commission in 2008 at the age of 29.

Mark has offered his service on numerous community and government related boards and commissions which have included the Endless Mountain Visitors Bureau, Endless Mountain Heritage Region Board, Bradford/Sullivan American Red Cross, Partners and Family Community Development Board and the Bradford County Tourism Committee.

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Mark was also elected to serve as a board member to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and the CCAP Natural Gas Task Force.

Prior to entering politics, Smith worked as an industrial designer in the automotive and plastics industries. Mark attended Athens Area High School, graduating in 1996. Mark went on to attend college in Pittsburgh and later The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, studying industrial design. In 2011 he was selected as one of twenty-two County Commissioners from across the nation to attend the National Association of Counties Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. provided by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Mark resides in Susquehanna Township with his wife Jane Clements-Smith.”

Denise Smyler – General Counsel

Denise Smyler (General Counsel) is the founding attorney and owner of the Smyler Firm, which united with Wadud Ahmad and Joseph Zaffarese to form Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC in September 2013. In 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter appointed Denise to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Board.

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Mayor Nutter also picked Smyler to serve on the nominating panel for the Board of Property Assessment Appeals. Previously, Denise worked as an assistant district attorney and as legal counsel to the Philadelphia Prison Commissioner before being appointed chief legal counsel to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner. While serving as counsel to the Prison System and Police Department, Denise also advised and represented the city in State and Federal Court proceedings relative to labor matters and worked on drafting and negotiating contracts on behalf of city agencies. Denise has a degree from New York University and earned her J.D. from Georgetown University.

Denise Smyler assumed duties as general counsel in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015.

Timothy Solobay – Office of Fire Commissioner

Timothy Solobay has over 38 years in fire service and is currently the assistant fire chief at the Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Company. Tim has served in fire service for more than three decades and he has received multiple awards and recognitions, and has dedicated himself to improving the atmosphere for fire service. Tim also spent his time in the General Assembly fighting for legislation to improve fire services and deliver more resources to fire and emergency service companies. Solobay was instrumental in providing millions annually for fire and emergency service across the commonwealth.

Jennifer Smith – Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Jennifer (Jen) Smith has most recently served the citizens of Pennsylvania as the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). Following her college graduation in 2004, she accepted a position in Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget as an accountant where she focused primarily on monitoring accounts receivables, processing loan payments, reconciling accounts for the Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania State Police.

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Through 2009, she continued to work in various accountant positions in the Office of the Budget, serving as the co-lead on an effort to train hundreds of employees throughout the state on a new process for recording revenue. She also worked on an 18-month initiative to restructure and redesign business processes for Comptroller Operations, which is the largest office within OB. During this project Jen served as the Communications, Change Management and Training Lead, played a key role as the liaison between OB and all other agencies as it related to the changes being implemented, and in the summer of 2009 took over the role of Project Manager to oversee the final phases of implementation.

In 2009, Smith became the Director for Strategic Planning and Communications within the Office of the Budget. Three years later she was promoted to the Bureau Director for Planning and Management. In November of 2015, Smith accepted the position of Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

She currently resides in Jonestown with her husband of 14 years, their four children and two dogs. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys participating as an active member of the Annville Church of the Brethren.

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.

Mary Topper – Director, Office of Public Liaison

Mary Topper joined the Wolf Administration on January 20, 2015 as Deputy Director of the Office of Public Liaison. She previously served as a deputy on Governor-elect Wolf’s transition committee. Prior to that, she was deputy director in the political department of the Wolf for Governor campaign, where she also managed the campaign’s voter protection efforts.

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Mary has previously served as regional political director for President Obama’s re-election campaign where she coordinated efforts in 36 counties of Pennsylvania, and as Executive Director of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

A native of Montgomery County, Mary earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and her Juris Doctor from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.

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.