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Strategist, experienced legislator join Malloy administration

December 16, 2010
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor-Elect Dan Malloy today added to his senior leadership team, naming longtime advisors Roy Occhiogrosso and State Senator Andrew McDonald as his Senior Advisor and General Counsel, respectively. McDonald will complete his current term as a state senator, but will resign his member-elect status and will not be sworn in to a new term in the State Senate.
Both McDonald and Occhiogrosso will report directly to Governor-Elect Malloy. Along with Chief of Staff designee Tim Bannon, McDonald and Occhiogrosso will each have staff report to them individually. Occhiogrosso will oversee the Governor's communications office and will provide strategic and tactical counsel to the Governor on communications, media relations, and political matters, and other issues facing the Administration including policy formulation. Occhiogrosso will also manage special projects as assigned by the Governor.
In the redesigned role of General Counsel, McDonald will oversee the legal operations of the Governor's Office, but will also oversee the in-house legal operations of the various departments and agencies of the Executive Branch. He will be the lead legal contact for the Malloy administration with the Attorney General's office. In addition, when requested by the Governor, McDonald will lead any independent legal reviews of Executive Branch operations and will report any findings directly to the Governor.
"Roy and Andrew have provided me professional guidance on a number of issues throughout the years, and their acceptance of these offers will allow me to rely on a senior leadership team in my office ripe with experience inside and outside of state government, cognizant of the great challenges that lie ahead for us, and uniquely prepared to deal with them effectively and efficiently," said Governor-Elect Malloy. "Roy and Andrew will really help set the tone for the kind of office I am looking forward to having come January 5, in terms of what I'd like to accomplish, how I'd like to accomplish it, and accessibility to the public and the media in Connecticut."
"I'm eager to begin this new endeavor in the Governor's office, working with the Governor-Elect to help create new jobs, keep the ones we have and get Connecticut's fiscal house in order. I'm honored that he values my counsel so much that he's seen fit to ask me to join him in this next step," said Occhiogrosso. "Governor-Elect Malloy's office will be an active one and there's no time to waste. As his senior advisor, I look forward to providing counsel to him as he prepares to take on this enormous challenge."
"I'm honored to rejoin Governor-Elect Malloy in this new chapter of his public career," said McDonald. "We began working together years ago in Stamford, and I've enjoyed his counsel and his friendship ever since. I'm happy to have him as a client again."
Occhiogrosso is currently a partner at Global Strategy Group, where he has worked since 2003. Occhiogrosso helped found the communications division of the firm and has managed large scale public affairs campaigns at the state and national level with a focus on public policy issues, including criminal justice reform, death penalty reform, gay rights and higher education. Prior to his time at Global Strategy Group, Occhiogrosso held a number of high level positions within state government and on campaigns. He has worked for the Connecticut House Democratic Caucus, and in 1992, Occhiogrosso was the Deputy Information Director at President Bill Clinton's convention. In 1994, Occhiogrosso was the press secretary for Bill Curry's campaign for Governor and from 1996-2001, he was the Director of Policy and Communications for the Connecticut Senate Democratic Caucus. In 2002, he again worked for Bill Curry's gubernatorial campaign, this time as his campaign manager.
McDonald is currently the State Senator for 27th District representing Stamford and Darien. He is also the deputy majority leader of the senate and the senate chairman of the Judiciary Committee. McDonald is a partner at the law firm of Pullman & Comley in Stamford, where he represents individual and institutional clients in commercial litigation matters at both the trial and appellate levels. McDonald also served as the director of legal affairs and corporation counsel for the city of Stamford under then-Mayor Malloy from January 1999 through June 2002, when he resigned to begin his campaign for state Senate. As Stamford's chief legal advisor, he oversaw all legal, human resource and labor relations functions of one of Connecticut's largest communities. McDonald is married to Charles Gray, and lives in Stamford, where he has been a life-long resident.
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