May 16, 2011

Mayor-elect Emanuel Announces Senior Staff

Previously posted on May 11, 2011

Today, Mayor-elect Emanuel announced his senior staff. "I have selected an experienced and diverse group of leaders to help me bring about the reforms Chicagoans voted for," said the Mayor-elect. "Their expertise will help me implement the ideas laid out in the Chicago 2011 Transition Report and deliver superior services to Chicagoans at a lower cost."

Theresa Mintle, Chief of Staff

Theresa Mintle is currently the Chief of Staff for the Chicago Transit Board, where she has been a lead voice advancing a smart card fare payment platform. Mintle serves as Vice-Chairman of the Retirement Plan for CTA Employees, overseeing $1.7 billion in investments and a statutorily mandated reform program; Vice-Chairman of the CTA Retirement Healthcare Trust overseeing $700 million in investments and the creation of a new healthcare program for retirees; and Chairman of the Deferred Compensation Committee directing the investment of over $340 million in employee assets. Mintle has worked in Washington, DC, Springfield, and in City Hall. She is a past American Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

Felicia Davis, First Deputy Chief of Staff

Felicia Davis served the Chicago Police Department for 10 years as a police officer, detective, and CAPS instructor. As an officer, Davis won awards for her performance and demonstrated exceptional bravery under fire. As a detective, Davis served in the Violent Crimes section and was responsible for coordinating the Detective Divisions Community Policing Strategies as Area Information Coordinator. She is currently the Vice President of Administration at Kendall College, where she oversees the College's operations and administration.

Elizabeth Swanson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Education

Elizabeth Swanson is the Executive Director of The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, which invests in people and programs that enrich the life experiences of Chicago's children. Prior to joining the Foundation, Swanson led the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Management and Budget under CEO Arne Duncan. Swanson has also served as director of the CPS Office of Extended Learning Opportunities. Swanson has devoted her career to youth development and education reform, working for both local and federal government, as well as a number of non-profit organizations. She holds a Bachelor's from Amherst College and Master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Swanson's two school-aged children attend CPS schools.

Matt Hynes, Director, Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs

Matthew J. Hynes is currently the managing partner of Hynes Law Offices LLC which specializes in government law, governmental relations, special litigation counseling and local government taxation. Previously Hynes was a partner in the municipal finance practice group at Chapman and Cutler LLP. He began his legal career as staff attorney with the Federal Defender Program in Chicago. Hynes received his JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and his BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Maria Guerra, First Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs

Maria Guerra currently serves as Deputy Director over public private partnerships in the Office of the City of Chicago's Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, Guerra served as a Deputy Budget Director with responsibility over the city's human infrastructure departments; and as an Assistant Commissioner in the Department of Aviation with responsibility over legal and government affairs. She started her career in city government as an Assistant to the Mayor in the City Council team of the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Guerra earned a JD and MBA from DePaul University, and a BA in Communication from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, Guerra worked in media and television news production.

David Spielfogel, Chief of Policy and Strategic Planning

David Spielfogel currently serves as Director of the Chicago 2011 Transition Project after directing policy and research for Chicago for Rahm mayoral campaign. Previously, Spielfogel served as policy director for the Senate bid of Alexi Giannoulias, as Chief of Staff at the MacArthur Foundation where he worked on special projects that cut across the foundation's domestic and international programs, and in the Clinton White House as the Special Assistant for Policy to the President's senior adviser on energy and environmental issues. Spielfogel earned his M.S. in International Development Management from the London School of Economics, and his B.S. from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources.

Mike Simmons, Policy Director

Mike Simmons has spent the last two years as policy director for Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, developing and coordinating policy initiatives around health care, foreclosure, budget, and the courts. In this role, he worked closely with a range of policy and community stakeholders including state government, advocacy organizations, community groups, chambers of commerce, and 10th district small businesses owners and residents directly. He also led the Commissioner's outreach with the various non-profits, social services, neighborhood associations, and issue groups throughout the diverse 10th district. Previously, Simmons served on the legislative staff of Senator Richard Durbin in Washington, D.C. where he focused on economic and banking issues. Simmons sits on the Board of Equality Illinois and the Brennemann Elementary School Local School Council in Uptown. Simmons holds a degree in Political Science from Amherst College.

Lisa Schrader, Chief Operating Officer

Lisa Schrader has served the City of Chicago since 2001, working in the Mayor's Office since 2009. Schrader has held positions managing policy and communications across a range of city issues and operations in the Mayor's Office, for the Chief Financial Officer, and in the Office of Budget and Management. Prior to her work in Chicago, Schrader worked on several candidate and issue campaigns, including the 2000 Presidential race with the DNC, Harvey Gantt for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, and the Better World Campaign to support the United Nations. Schrader earned a bachelor's degree in English literature and political science at Miami University (Oxford, OH).

Chris Mather, Communications Director

Chris Mather was an appointee in the Obama Administration, serving as the Communications Director for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Prior to that, she was a spokesperson on the Presidential Inaugural Committee and Press Secretary for Dr. Jill Biden on the Obama for America campaign. Mather worked at the Democratic National Committee in the 2004 elections and was Vice President of Communications at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. She got her start in Chicago working for progressive organizations including Planned Parenthood and NARAL as well as Democratic candidates including former State Representative Nancy Kaszak and Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes in their bids for higher office.

Tarrah Cooper, Press Secretary

Tarrah Cooper is the Press Secretary for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. Prior to that Cooper worked in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. where she helped to manage the Department's messaging, priorities and actions for numerous national incidents including the H1N1 epidemic, the December 25th and Times Square attempted bombings, the Haitian earthquake and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Tarrah began her journalism career as a general assignment reporter at KOMU-NBC 8 in Columbia, Missouri. Cooper serves on the board of Breakthrough Urban Ministries, a non-profit community development center in East Garfield Park. Cooper graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in Journalism.

Shannon Loredo, Director, Scheduling and Advance

Shannon Carpenter Loredo was the Director for Community Investments at Great Lakes Higher Education where she managed the company's multi-million annual budget for philanthropy targeted to college accesss programming. Formerly, she was the Director of the Office of the Wisconsin Covenant, the state's early awareness education project which helps prepare more than 70,000 students for college. She also served as Scheduling Director for Governor Jim Doyle and on the National Advance team for President Obama. Loredo received a B.A. in international relations and political science from the University of Wisconsin.