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Updated: Governor-elect Brad Little fills key positions

Gov.-elect Brad Little has made a number of key appointments. File photo.

Governor-elect Brad Little is announcing key staff members for the Office of the Governor in a variety of departments.

Kelley Packer will lead as Bureau Chief of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensure. Packer is a former Idaho State Representative from McCammon.

Tom Kealey will be the new Director of the Department of Commerce. Kealey is a co-owner of the restaurant chain Chicago Connection and a former executive at Morrison-Knudsen.

Bryan Mooney is selected as Director of the Department of Administration. Former Vice President of Operations at MWI Veterinary Supply, Mooney has more than 25 years of experience successfully leading teams at the largest animal health distributor in the world.

Jani Revier will fill the position of Director of the Department of Labor. Revier has served as the Administrator of the Division of Financial Management since 2013.

Melinda Smyser is selected as the Administrator of the Office of Drug Policy. Smyser currently serves as the Director of the Department of Labor. She represented Canyon and Gem counties in the Idaho Senate from 2009 through 2012.

Susan Buxton will serve as Administrator of the Idaho Division of Human Resources and provides important human resource support for the transition.

Idaho Army National Guard Brigadier General Michael J. Garshak accepted the position as Idaho’s Adjutant General, the commanding officer of the Idaho National Guard. In this position, he will lead the Idaho Army and Air National Guard while overseeing the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.

Colonel Kedrick Wills will be appointed as Director of the Idaho State Police. Col. Wills started as a patrol officer in Glenns Ferry then worked in Nampa before becoming an ISP trooper in 1996.

Jeffery Weak will serve as Idaho’s Administrator of Information Technology Services, the Governor’s key technology, data security, and cybersecurity officer.

Bobbi-Jo Meuleman will be the new Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Meuleman is currently the Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce and was previously the Chief Operating Officer. Meuleman worked as Scheduler for Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter then as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Bobbi-Jo lives in Boise and is a graduate of the University of Montana.

Andrew Mitzel will join the Governor’s office as Senior Advisor of Intergovernmental Affairs. Mitzel was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Brad Little for Governor campaign. Prior to the campaign, he was the Political Director for the Idaho REALTORS Association. Andrew is a Meridian native and Boise State Graduate.

Emily Callihan will serve as Director of Communications. Callihan is the current Public Information Officer at the Idaho Department of Lands. She is from Boise and graduated from the University of Idaho.

Marissa Morrison will fill the position of Press Secretary in the Governor’s Office. Morrison worked as a reporter for KIVI Six On Your Side in Nampa before taking a job as a Strategic Communications Specialist at Bilbao & Co. Morrison is a Pocatello native and Gonzaga University graduate.

“We have taken the honor of filling these positions very seriously and ensuring we have the right person to lead these agencies and departments. These men and women are dedicated and valuable public servants,” Little said. “There are more positions to fill as we near the end of this year and we will continue to seek applicants who share my vision to create the best possible atmosphere for Idaho kids to thrive here and allow those who have left to return.”

More appointments and staff announcements are expected in the coming weeks.

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One comment

  1. What is Brad Little’s take on Judge Lynn Winmill ruling that the Idaho Department of Correction and its contractor for health services must provide gender confirmation surgery to a transgender prisoner from the Pocatello area who has been asking for the procedure for years? Why should the State of Idaho pay for his surgery? Let him have it done when he is paroled. He purposely breaks the law so taxpayers have to pay for his surgery. BS