Shapiro’s nominees come from a wide variety of backgrounds including the private sector, municipal and county government and the administration of former governor Tom Wolf. Governor Josh Shapiro expressed enthusiasm for his new job at Tuesday’s star-studded inaugural celebration.
What about Shapiro’s cabinet picks, who has he proposed to serve in that capacity? Policy initiatives such as Shapiro’s campaign promise to invest in education at all levels and to make Pennsylvania more attractive to businesses in order to fuel economic growth and create jobs are carried out by the governor’s cabinet secretaries.
In most administrations, there are around 22 cabinet members though this number can change based on how the governor chooses to organize their team. There is a wide range of experience among Shapiro’s nominees from those who have worked in industry to those who have worked at various levels of government at the state level including those who have risen through the ranks to become high-level administrators.
Who will serve in his Cabinet After Shapiro Becomes the Governor?
Several of former Governor Tom Wolf’s cabinet members have been reappointed by Shapiro. Until their confirmation by a Republican-controlled state senate, the nominees will serve in acting capacities. If the Senate doesn’t confirm the nominee within 25 days, the nominee can rescind the designation and become a confirmed secretary.
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Many of the new appointees have worked with Shapiro for years as was the case in previous administrations. And in keeping with his image as a moderate and pragmatist. The new governor has made appointments that have drawn criticism for crossing party lines and favoring insiders with prior experience in public administration over newcomers with specialized knowledge.
The Republican-led state senate must approve all cabinet nominees. Shapiro has not yet revealed his picks for general services secretary and inspector general. Here is a running tally of the people about whom we have information:
A native of Scranton, Kavulich has spent the majority of his professional life in Lackawant to County first as a county caseworker and now as the director of the Lackawanna to County Area Agency on Aging. He was responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and providing access to legal services as well as administering programs like adult day care and meal delivery in the community.
Shapiro proposed reappointing Agriculture Secretary Tom Redding. Former dairy farm worker Redding has served in this capacity for nearly a decade, first for Democratic Governor Ed Rendell for two years and then under Democratic Governor Tom Wolf since 2015.
Redding voted in favor of the 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Bill which allocated $23 million to support farmers and ensure the safety of food production in the event of natural disasters. Every year since then, the bill has been extended for another.
When Hammer’s nomination is approved, she will move from her current position as managing director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to the Shapiro administration.
Prior to that, her LinkedIn profile indicates that she spent a year working in financial institution policy for the United States Treasury. She was also active in the non-profit Securities Investor Protection Corporation which was set up to shield customers of defunct brokerage houses from the risk of losing their money.
Mumin has been the superintendent of Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania since 2021. This district is among the highest income and highest spending in the state. But before that, he was in charge of the schools in Reading City, one of the poorest in the Commonwealth.
Speaking as Reading’s superintendent, Mumin discussed the persistent funding gap between suburban and urban schools in Pennsylvania with The Inquirer. It was his intention to be sure we’re giving our kids the same opportunities the suburban kids have, he said.
Padfield has been the head of Pennsylvania’s EMA since 2019. He is in charge of coordinating the Commonwealth’s response to all types of emergencies from floods to fires to mass shootings. A key figure in the commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He coordinated with the federal government to request the deployment of military units to assist first responders in areas like nursing homes.
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Negrin, a lawyer of Cuban ancestry would make history as the department’s first Latina secretary. He has a wealth of experience in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas. The DEP secretary is responsible for monitoring potential hazards like abandoned wells issuing grants for environmentally friendly projects, publishing reports and enforcing environmental laws.
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