With a little more than one week until he is inaugurated, Gov.-Elect Josh Shapiro continues to make appointments to his senior staff and cabinet. Below is the full list of senior level staff to date, with brief bios:
Chief of Staff
Shapiro’s campaign manager and longtime aide Dana Fritz will serve as chief of staff. Fritz is a native of Lehigh County and Temple University graduate whose experience includes stints at the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Senator Bob Casey’s 2012 re-election campaign, and with Shapiro when he was Montgomery County Commissioner and Pennsylvania Attorney General.
Executive Deputy Chief of Staff
Shapiro’s campaign political director – and a former government affairs manager for the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce – Larry Hailsham, Jr. will serve as his executive deputy chief of staff. Prior to the Shapiro campaign, Hailsham worked on Senator Casey’s 2018 re-election campaign and President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.
Uri Monson will serve as Shapiro’s budget secretary. Monson most recently served as the deputy superintendent for operations and chief financial officer for the School District of Philadelphia, as well as the chief financial officer for Montgomery County under then-Commissioner Shapiro. The budget secretary is charged with developing the annual budget proposal, and coordinating and overseeing the execution of the enacted financial plan that reflects the priorities and policies of the governor and legislature.
Jennifer Selber, who currently serves with Shapiro as executive deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania, will serve as general counsel in the governor’s office. Selber’s experience includes serving in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and as a law clerk to the Honorable Anita B. Brody, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and in private practice. Considered “Pennsylvania’s law firm,” the Office of the General Counsel provides legal counsel and representation to the Governor’s Office and executive agencies.
Secretary of Policy and Planning
Akbar Hossain, the executive director of the Shapiro-Davis Transition Team and former policy director of the Shapiro campaign, will serve as secretary of policy and planning. Hossain previously served as a white-collar government investigations attorney and as a law clerk to Judge Harvey Battle, III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In December, Hossain spoke on the PA Chamber’s monthly local chambers of commerce call and will be the guest speaker at the PA Chamber’s Government Affairs Roundtable on January 19. You can read a recent Philadelphia Inquirer profile of Hossain HERE.
Secretary of Legislative Affairs
Former state Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) will serve as Shapiro’s secretary of legislative affairs. Vereb served in the PA House of Representatives from 2007-2017 and previously served as president of the West Norriton Township Board of Commissioners and as a police officer. He most recently was director of government affairs in the Attorney General’s Office. Vereb will be Shapiro’s chief liaison to the state legislature.
Secretary of State
Shapiro’s first Cabinet appointment came last week, when he announced that he was nominating Al Schmidt to be Secretary of State. Schmidt is a former Philadelphia City Commissioner and current President & CEO of the Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based non-profit and non-partisan government accountability organization. Upon Senate confirmation, he would lead the agency responsible for licensing more than one million business and health professionals; overseeing the state’s electoral process; supporting economic development through corporate registrations and transactions; maintaining registration and financial information for charities; and sanctioning professional boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts. Notably, Schmidt was one of a dozen people honored by President Biden at a White House ceremony last Friday for his efforts during the 2020 presidential election.
Deputy Chiefs of Staff
Shapiro appointed six deputy chiefs of staff who, according to a news release, “will work directly with state agencies, stakeholders, government officials, and local communities all across Pennsylvania as they assist in advancing the Governor-Elect’s top priorities.” The six deputy chiefs are:
• Joseph Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Opportunity
• Lindsey Mauldin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Health and Human Services
• Danielle Okai, Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development
• Michael Pipe, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety
• Sam Robinson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Consumers and the Environment
• Tori Shriver, Deputy Chief of Staff for Education and Workforce Development