Governor Lamont Makes Several Key Personnel Adjustments
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced several key personnel adjustments within the Office of the Governor and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The changes will complement and augment the current design of the Governor’s Office, while promoting business and workforce development through DECD, a key goal of his administration. Adjustments to the office design include the following:
- Colleen Flanagan Johnson will leave the Governor’s Office at the end of the month and return to Cigna. At that time, Jonathan Harris will move from the Office of Policy and Management to the Office of the Governor, becoming Senior Advisor. In this redesigned role, Harris will coordinate the legislative, policy, and communications functions within the Governor’s Office, overseeing integration and providing insight into all three areas ahead of and into the next legislative session. The directors of those functions will continue reporting to the Chief of Staff, while working in close coordination with Harris and with one another.
- Maribel La Luz will move to the Department of Economic and Community Development to begin her new role as Senior Advisor for External Affairs, reporting directly to Commissioner Lehman, and helping to strengthen and support DECD’s outreach and advocacy efforts in the business community. In her place, Max Reiss, formerly NBC Connecticut’s Chief Political Correspondent, will join the Governor’s Office as Director of Communications, leveraging his significant political and new media expertise. In addition, Rob Blanchard will work closely with Reiss as Deputy Communications Director.
- Paul Mounds will continue in his role as the state’s first Chief Operating Officer and also take on a new role as Deputy Chief of Staff. In this new role, Mounds will work closely with Chief of Staff Ryan Drajewicz on day-to-day office management and oversight, as well as strategic planning for the administration.
“These personnel adjustments will allow us to leverage the experience and expertise of these individuals in a way that best supports my administration’s goals going forward,” Governor Lamont said. “Following my first legislative session, I conducted a holistic review to evaluate my office structure and needs relative to my goals. Both Jonathan and Paul’s expertise and historical knowledge of state government are natural fits in these new roles. Parallel to that, I wanted to take the opportunity to augment DECD’s business development efforts with someone like Maribel, whose private sector business-to-business experience at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as her state and local government experience, will help deepen and broaden DECD’s outreach and advocacy efforts. Leveraging Max’s political, policy, and new media experience will benefit my administration and its agencies, and elevating Rob to this new role is an acknowledgment of the critical role he’s played in my administration in the first six months. Lastly, I greatly appreciate the benefit of Colleen’s prior experience in the Governor’s Office, her work to stand-up my office, as well as her counsel and recommendations on communications, policy and political matters. Colleen was clear with me last fall that her tenure in my office would be limited, and I am grateful for her hard work to get my administration off the ground. I’m confident that these adjustments will serve us well as we prepare for the next legislative session and beyond.”