March 7, 2024

Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces Promotion and New Appointment to Senior Staff

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the promotion of Ronnie Reese to Communications Director and the hiring of Joe Calvello as Chief Strategy Officer in the Office of the Mayor.

“Ronnie has been as an effective spokesperson and a trusted communications advisor for this administration, and I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that the people of Chicago understand our priorities,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Joe is a Chicago area native who brings a breadth of experience and expertise to our administration and will be instrumental in guiding our strategic vision for the City of Chicago.”

Reese has served as the Press Secretary for Mayor Johnson since Inauguration Day. Prior to joining the administration, he was the Communications Director and Press Secretary for Mayor Johnson’s historic 2023 mayoral run, helping shape the narrative for the former educator and organizer, and bringing a collaborative, organizing model to campaign communications with an emphasis on digital communications and community partnerships.

“Since day one of this administration, it has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of our city and be a part of the remarkable progress we are making in investing in Chicago’s families and communities,” said Ronnie Reese. “I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Johnson and our brilliant team of directors, deputy mayors, commissioners and others to bring our message directly to the people of Chicago on how we are building a better, stronger, safer Chicago for all.”

Prior to working on the Johnson campaign, Reese spent more than a decade as the Digital Director and Deputy Press Secretary for the Chicago Teachers Union, where he was responsible for internal and external communications on behalf of the union’s 30,000 members. A native Chicagoan, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Science in Journalism from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Calvello most recently worked for U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) where he was the Senator's Director of Communications on both his 2022 campaign and in his U.S. Senate office. Calvello crafted and led the Fetterman campaign’s groundbreaking media and communications strategy during the 2022 election which resulted in an historic electoral victory.

“It’s an absolute honor and a privilege to come to Chicago and serve the people of this great city,” said Joe Calvello. “Mayor Johnson is a true progressive who is committed to fighting for the working people and families of the City of Chicago, and I am deeply honored to join his administration and get to work. I am going to be laser focused on driving the Mayor’s vision for the City of Chicago, a vision that will cement Chicago as a city that truly works for everyone.”

Prior to working for Senator Fetterman, Calvello served as the Western Press Secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign and was Deputy Communications Director on Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s 2018 campaign. Calvello also served as Associate Director of State Media for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America during the 2020 general election.

Calvello earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he was born and raised in Chicago’s western suburbs.