Blog: Who is in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s cabinet? – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

At his star-studded inaugural celebration Tuesday, Gov. Josh Shapiro said he’s eager to get to work. So who has Shapiro nominated for his cabinet?

The governor’s cabinet secretaries carry out the administration’s policy initiatives, such as Shapiro’s campaign pledge to invest in education at every level and to make Pennsylvania more attractive to businesses to fuel economic growth and create jobs. Typically, there are about 22 cabinet members, but that can vary depending on how a governor structures their administration.

Shapiro’s nominees, who span partisan divides, include people who have served in industry, county and local government and some who rose through the ranks of state government to serve as high-level administrators. Shapiro has also tapped several of former Gov. Tom Wolf’s cabinet members to stay in their roles. 

The nominees serve as acting secretaries until confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the Republican-controlled state Senate. There’s no difference between a confirmed secretary and an acting secretary, and a nominee may drop the designation if the Senate does not act within 25 days.

Who is in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s cabinet?

Al Schmidt, Secretary of the Commonwealth

Al Schmidt (Submitted photo)

Schmidt, the president and CEO of the election watchdog Committee of Seventy, is nominated to oversee the Department of State, which administers elections, maintains records of corporations and professional licenses.

As the only Republican and vice chairperson of the Philadelphia Board of Elections, Schmidt gained widespread attention as he faced death threats from those who falsely claimed the results of the 2020 election, when President Joe Biden was elected, were fraudulent.

Schmidt later testified before the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Dr. Khalid Mumin, Secretary of Education

Pennsylvania Education Secretary-designee Dr. Khalid N. Mumin (Photo courtesy Gov-elect Josh Shapiro transition).
Pennsylvania Education Secretary-designee Dr. Khalid N. Mumin (Photo courtesy Gov-elect Josh Shapiro Transition.).

Mumin will oversee the Department of Education, which sets educational standards and distributes state and federal funds to 500 public school districts and 170 public charter schools, cyber charter schools, community colleges, career and technical institutes and public preschools.

As superintendent of the Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County and former superintendent of the Reading School District, Mumin has experience in districts that are among the wealthiest and poorest in the state. He rose through the ranks of the education system, beginning his career as a second-grade English teacher in 1997.

Nancy Walker, Secretary of Labor and Industry

Walker will head the Department of Labor and Industry, which oversees industrial and occupational

Department of Labor & Industry Secretary-designee Nancy Walker (Photo courtesy of Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro Transition.).

safety, administers unemployment and workers compensation benefits and promotes workforce development. With experience as an attorney practicing employment and labor law, she served with Shapiro in the attorney general’s office as the head of a newly created fair labor section that worked on behalf of workers to ensure fair treatment and to stop unlawful practices by employers.

Rich Negrin, Secretary of Environmental Protection

Negrin brings extensive environmental leadership experience to the Department of Environmental Protection, Shapiro’s transition team said. 

Most recently he worked as vice president of regulatory policy and head of external affairs at electric utility Commonwealth Edison, leading efforts to increase the use of renewable energy, electric cars and improve energy efficiency. He also served as deputy mayor and managing director of Philadelphia under former Mayor Michael Nutter. He is the first Latino secretary of environmental protection in Pennsylvania.

Cindy Adams Dunn,Secretary of Conservation & Natural Resources

Dunn has served since 2015 as secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which administers the state park system, grant programs for municipal parks and recreation projects and protects Pennsylvania’s plant, animal and water resources.

With nearly 30 years of experience at the DCNR, Dunn has served in numerous roles and lead efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, managed the highest visitation to state parks and forests and worked to address the state’s growing recreation needs.

Russell Redding,Secretary of Agriculture

As secretary of the Department of Agriculture under Gov. Tom Wolf and Gov. Ed Rendell and agricultural policy advisor to U.S. Sen Harris Wofford, Redding has extensive experience with Pennsylvania’s farming and food industries.

Under Redding’s leadership, the department has worked to improve food security, strengthened food systems and economies across the state and expanded land conservation and preservation.

Dr. Val Arkoosh, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

As chairperson of the Montgomery County board of commissioners, Arkoosh managed human services for one of Pennsylvania’s largest counties.

Arkoosh has also served as a leader of the National Physicians Alliance, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to health care reform, developing policy and legislative strategy in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country.

Dr. Debra L. Bogen, Secretary of Health

Bogen most recently served as director of the Allegheny County health department and led the agency through the COVID-19 pandemic and advanced regulatory improvements in food safety, plumbing, air quality, and paid sick time.

Before leading the Allegheny Health Department, Bogen was a member of the Pittsburgh-area medical and research community for more than two decades, working as a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs 

Davis-Jones was the senior director of behavioral health at Highmark Wholecare. She has experience in the public health arena as the drug and alcohol services administrator at the Allegheny County department of human services.

Davis-Jones has testified before the state House and Senate policy committees on the opioid epidemic and has published research on the issue.

Jason Kavulich, Secretary of Aging 

In his role as director of the Lackawanna County Agency on Aging, Kavulich promoted the innovation and expansion of services for older adults to guarantee their rights and independence. 

Kavulich has 21 years of experience in the human services field, rising from a county caseworker to supervisory administrative positions in the Lackawanna County office of youth and family services and the area agency on aging.

Mike Humphreys, Insurance Commissioner

Humphreys has served as acting insurance commissioner since last February after serving in senior roles at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which regulates the state’s insurance marketplace, oversees agents and professionals, monitors the financial shape of companies and advocates for consumers.

Since joining the department, Humphreys has been involved in the development of Pennie, the state’s health insurance marketplace and implementing the No Surprises Act, which protects patients from surprise medical bills.

Rick Siger, Secretary of Community and Economic Development

Siger most recently served as chief of staff and senior advisor to Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian, guiding the administration on economic and community development issues, its budget, and the leadership of more than 5,000 staff and faculty.

Under President Barack Obama, Siger served as chief of staff in the White House Office of Science and Technology, and deputy chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michael Carroll, Secretary of Transportation

Carroll, of Pittston, was elected to the state House in 2006, and served eight terms, including two as the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation Committee. He also worked as legislative liaison for PennDOT under Gov. Robert Casey; served as chief of staff for former state Rep. John Yudichak, and was the district office director for former U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski.

Sarah Hammer, Secretary of Banking and Securities

Hammer is managing director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance and senior fellow at the Harris Alternative Investments Program at Wharton. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she teaches a course on financial regulation.

Previously she served in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Financial Institutions Policy, and in roles related to insurance, cybersecurity, investor protection and the U.S. financial regulatory framework.

Pat Browne, Secretary of Revenue

Pat Browne (Photo via Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro’s transition team).

Browne, a Republican, served as a state lawmaker for nearly 30 years, and as chairperson of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee for the last four legislative sessions. 

An Allentown native, Browne is credited with enabling the rebirth of the city’s once struggling downtown with legislation that created the Neighborhood Improvement Zone. Encompassing 130-acres, the zone drew more than $1 billion in real estate investment to the city by allowing developers to use taxes collected at their properties to borrow for construction.

Browne’s legislation served as a model for redevelopment plans in other distressed areas.=

 

Laurel Harry, Secretary of Corrections

Harry started her career as a drug and alcohol treatment specialist at SCI-Waynesburg, in Greene County, and rose through the

Laurel Harry (Photo via Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro’s transition team)

ranks to serve as superintendent at SCI-Camp Hill, in Cumberland County, for the past 10 years.

During her career Harry worked at six state correctional institutions, was a member of the Western Region Hostage Negotiation Team, and was recognized as 2019 warden of the year by the Pennsylvania Prison Wardens Association, Shapiro’s transition team said.

Randy Padfield, Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Padfield, who has 35 years of experience in fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, and special operations, would continue to lead the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, where he was appointed director in 2019.

Padfield has been a responder to numerous disasters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country including the scene of the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, hurricanes, floods and the Surfside, Florida, condominium collapse in 2021 as a member of Pennsylvania’s urban search and rescue team.

Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania 

Schindler would continue to oversee Pennsylvania national guard as adjutant general of military and veterans affairs.

Nominated and confirmed in 2021, Schindler manages a state and federal budget of more than $966 million, and is responsible for command and control of more than 18,000 Army and Air National Guard members, 2,500 state employees, cadets at the Keystone ChallenNGe Academy, and six state-owned veterans homes, according to Shapiro’s transition team.

Tom Cook, State Fire Commissioner

Cook has been serving as acting fire commissioner and will continue in the role with Shapiro’s nomination.

With more than 36 years of experience in emergency services, Cook has an extensive background in public and nonprofit administration at the municipal, county and state levels.

Cook served as administrator for the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy. He also served as assistant chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire. He attended the Allegheny County, state and national fire academies and serves as a state fire instructor and adjunct professor at Point Park University teaching public administration.

Christopher Paris, State Police Commissioner

Paris has been a member of the Pennsylvania State Police since enlisting in 1999.

He has a law degree from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and served as a state trooper in several parts of the state, as a station and troop commander, and as deputy commissioner of administration and professional accountability.

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