State Politics

Idaho Gov. Brad Little adds more Cabinet appointments, including veterans services, finance

As Idaho’s newly-sworn in 33rd governor, Brad Little, is assembling his new Cabinet, which comprises heads of executive branch agencies and offices.

Here’s a roundup of Little’s appointments, which include new faces along with some familiar faces in new places:

▪ Veterans Services: Marv Hagedorn, a former state lawmaker appointed to the post in August, retains his position.

▪ Finance: Mary Hughes will serve as acting director following the retirement of Gavin Gee. She will serve until a new director is selected.

▪ Pardons and Parole: Ashley Dowell, who has been the chief of prisons at the Idaho Department of Corrections since March 2017, was selected.

▪ Idaho State Liquor Division and Idaho Lottery: Jeff Anderson, former general manager of Boise and Idaho Falls CBS television affiliates, retains his position.

▪ Agriculture: Celia Gould, a longtime rancher and former Idaho legislator, retains her position as director.

▪ Insurance: Dean Cameron, who has worked as an insurance agent for 32 and served as a former state legislator, will retain his role.

▪ Building safety: Chris Jensen will retain his position as division administrator.

▪ State Appellate Public Defender’s Office: Erik Fredericksen, who previously served as a deputy and senior attorney for the office, was selected.

▪ Commission on Aging: Judy Taylor, who previously served as an associate executive director of the state board of nursing, will retain her role as administrator.

▪ Office of Species of Conservation: Scott Pugrund, who previously served as deputy administrator and legal counsel for the Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, replaces interim administrator Sam Eaton.

▪ Administration: Bryan Mooney, former MWI Veterinary Supply vice president, replaces Bob Geddes.

▪ Commerce: Tom Kealey, co-owner of Chicago Connection and former Morrison-Knudsen executive, replaces Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, who is joining Little’s staff as intergovernmental affairs director. Kealey ran unsuccessfully in the May GOP primary for state treasurer.

▪ Corrections: Board member David McClusky replaces Debbie Field and board chairman; the board recently named Josh Tewalt as new director, replacing Henry Atencio.

▪ Drug Policy: Melinda Smyser, currently Department of Labor director, replaces Nicole Fitzgerald.

▪ Energy and Mineral Resources: John Chatburn retains his position.

▪ Environmental Quality: John Tippets retains his position.

▪ Financial Management: Alex Adams replaces Jani Revier, who is becoming Department of Labor director.

▪ Health and Welfare: Dave Jeppesen, a former executive with Blue Cross of Idaho, replaces Russ Barron.

▪ Human Resources: Susan Buxton retains her position.

▪ Juvenile Corrections: Monty Prow replaces Sharon Harrigfeld.

▪ Information Technology Services: Jeffrey Weak retains his position.

▪ Military Division: Idaho Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak retains his position as Idaho’s adjutant general, overseeing the Idaho Army and Air National Guard and Idaho Office of Emergency Management.

▪ Occupational Licenses: Kelley Packer, former state representative from McCammon, replaces Tana Cory. Packer ran unsuccessfully in the May GOP primary for lieutenant governor.

▪ State Police: Col. Kedrick Wills retains his position.

▪ STEM Action Center: Angela Hemingway retains her position.

▪ Water Resources: Gary Spackman retains his position.

▪ Workforce Development Council: Wendi Secrest retains her position.

Earlier this month Idaho Fish and Game Commission announced that it had selected Deputy Director Ed Schriever to replace retiring Director Virgil Moore.

Little also made several staff announcements:

▪ Chief of staff: Zach Hauge

▪ Policy and counsel director: Sam Eaton

▪ Intergovernmental affairs director: Bobbi-Jo Meuleman

▪ Intergovernmental affairs senior adviser: Andrew Mitzel

▪ Intergovernmental affairs special assistant: Nate Fisher Jr.

▪ Education senior adviser: Greg Wilson

▪ Health care senior adviser: Sara Stover

▪ Communication director: Emily Callihan

▪ Press secretary: Marissa Morrison

▪ General counsel: Brian Wonderlich

Idaho Statesman investigative reporter Cynthia Sewell was named Idaho Press Club reporter of the year in 2017 and 2008. A University of Oregon graduate, she joined the Statesman in 2005. Her family has lived in Idaho since the mid-1800s.