McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Executive Office Announcements

Whitmer Announces Leadership Changes in State Departments

Update: Nov 14-Dec 9, 2022

On December 2, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced new leadership in state departments and agencies for the next four years. Entering her second term as governor, she commented that new opportunities and challenges are ahead, and the appointments and promotions will build on the work of the last four years.

Dan Eichinger will serve as acting director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Eichinger is currently the director at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where he has served since 2019. He replaces Liesl Clark.

Michelle Lange will serve as director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB). Lange has held leadership positions within DTMB, including chief deputy officer, director of executive direction and operations, chief of staff to the director, and the legislative department liaison. She has worked under Governor Whitmer as well as former governor Rick Snyder.

Senator Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) was chosen as the new director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). He is currently serving his second term in the Michigan Senate and will term out at the end of the year. Hollier served as a volunteer firefighter before enlisting in the U.S. Army and graduating with distinction from officer candidate school, where he earned the commission of 2nd Lieutenant.

Brian Hanna was selected as executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA). He will move from acting executive director to executive director. Hanna spent five years with the CRA as field operations, inspections, and investigations manager and served under former director Andrew Brisbo.

Brade Wieferich will assume the role of acting director of the Department of Transportation (MDOT). He is currently the chief operations officer of MDOT, overseeing their seven regions, the Bureau of Development, the Bureau of Field Services, and the Bureau of Bridges and Structures. He replaces Director Paul Ajegba, who is planning to retire from MDOT at the end of the year.

Kathy Angerer was selected as acting director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), where she is currently the deputy director. She replaces Director Gary McDowell, who is planning to retire at the end of the year.

Shannon Lott will serve as acting director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Lott has worked for over 25 years at the DNR and most recently held the role of natural resources deputy.

In addition to new leadership across state departments, Governor Whitmer announced staff changes in the executive office. Senior Advisor Shaquila Myers will be chief of staff to Speaker-elect Joe Tate (D-Detroit). Deputy Chief of Staff Melanie Brown will serve as executive ombudsman and senior partnerships advisor at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Chief Legal Counsel Nick Bagley will return to his position as a law professor at the University of Michigan. Maria Martinez will act as chief legal counsel while maintaining her duties as chief compliance officer.

Whitmer Appoints Members to School Safety and Mental Health Commission

Update: Sep 19-30, 2022

On September 22, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced appointments to the School Safety and Mental Health Commission.

The Commission, which was created under the Fiscal Year 2022-23 School Aid Budget, has been tasked with providing recommendations to strengthen the mental health of school-aged children and their families as well as reduce youth suicides. Members consist of individuals appointed by the Governor, as well as appointees recommended by the Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, Senate Minority Leader, and House Minority Leader. Designees from the Department of Education, State Police, and Department of Health and Human Services also serve as members.

The appointees are not subject to the advice and consent of the Michigan State Senate.

Whitmer Creates Center for Data and Analytics

Update: Sep 19-30, 2022

Under Executive Order 2022-11, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Center for Data and Analytics, housed in the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB).

Funded in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget, the Center for Data and Analytics is tasked with providing data- and evidence-driven strategies to all state departments and agencies. State department and agency heads are to coordinate with the center to facilitate data sharing. If there are cases where data is prohibited from being shared, a written notice must be provided.

The Executive Office hopes the new Center will allow for the state to “better understand economic, social, and demographic trends and make evidence-based policy decisions that improve lives”.