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Thomas Perez appointed Chairman, Democratic National Committee

Feb. 27, 2017: Thomas E. Perez was appointed as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by the DNC on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. Perez, 55, immediately appointed U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, as the DNC Deputy Chairman. Perez was previously the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama administration, from 2013 to 2017. Before that, he was the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. Born in Buffalo, New York, Perez is a graduate of Brown University, Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Perez worked as a Law Clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado before working at the Department of Justice from 1989 to 1995, where he worked as a federal Prosecutor, and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights for former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Perez also worked as a Special Counselor for former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, until 1998 when he worked as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the final years of the Clinton administration. Perez was then elected to the Montgomery County, Md., County Council in 2002, and he was the Council's President from 2005, until the end of his tenure in 2006. Perez was appointed by former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in January, 2007, until his October, 2009, confirmation by the U.S. Senate as an Assistant Attorney General. Perez received his law degree from the Harvard Law School, and he received a master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Jennifer Johnson appointed Deputy Legislative Secretary, California Governor's Office


Feb. 27, 2017: Jennifer Johnson was appointed as the Deputy Legislative Secretary at the California Governor’s Office by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Johnson, 42, Sacramento Democrat, was recently the manager of the education strategic initiative group at Apple from 2011 to 2016. She was also previously an Education Programs Consultant at the California State Board of Education from 2008 to 2011; an External Affairs Project Manager at the Oakland Unified School District in 2007 and 2008; and a law clerk at Cannata, Ching and O’Toole LLP in 2006 and 2007. Johnson was also a substitute teacher for the Marysville Joint Unified School District in 2005 and 2006; a Consultant for the California Department of Education from in 2004 and 2005; and a Government Affairs Representative at the Office of the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2003 and 2004. Johnson received her law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. Johnson will be paid $126,000 per year in her new post.

Keith Ellison appointed Deputy Chairman, Democratic National Committee


Feb. 27, 2017: Keith Ellison was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by the DNC on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. Ellison, 53, a native of Detroit, has been the U.S. Rep. for Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District since 2007. The district centers on Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. Ellison is a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a Chief Deputy Whip. He is on the House Committee on Financial Services. Ellison was the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress. He is also the first black person to have been elected to the U.S. House from Minnesota. Ellison received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990. After law school, Ellison worked for three years at the firm of Lindquist and Vennum, where he was a litigator specializing in civil rights, employment, and criminal defense law. Ellison then took a job as the executive director of the nonprofit Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, which specializes in the defense of indigent clients. Upon leaving the Legal Rights Center, Ellison entered private practice with the law firm Hassan and Reed Ltd, specializing in trial practice. Ellison has also been regularly involved in community service. He was the unpaid host of a public affairs talk program at KMOJ radio, and he has also often volunteered as a track coach for several organizations, working with youth between the ages of five and eighteen.

Christine Hironaka appointed Deputy Secretary, Legislative Affairs, California Environmental Protection Agency


Feb. 27, 2017: Christine Hironaka was appointed as the Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Hironaka, 29, San Francisco Democrat, was most recently the Assistant Director for Policy Development at the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, a post she held since 2015. She was the Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs at the department in 2014 and 2015. Hironaka was previously the Legislative Assistant at the Office of California State Sen. Mark Leno from 2010 to 2014, and a Capital Fellow at the Office of California State Sen. Denise M. Ducheny in 2009 and 2010. Hironaka will be paid $121,668 per year in her new position.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Jim Tighe assigned as Commander, Digital Warfare Office


Feb. 27, 2017: U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Jan Tighe has been assigned as the Commander of the newly-created Digital Warfare Office at the U.S. Navy. Tighe is the Navy’s Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare. The Navy officials created the office because they said they are trying to emulate companies, particularly in heavy industrial sectors, who’ve leveraged their own data into new digital strategies to make smarter business decisions, including by feeding raw information from their business units into tools that take advantage of new advances in data science and machine learning. “An example might be an engine on an aircraft wing,” said Tighe. “How do we make decisions on how many hours that engine can fly before it needs to come off and be inspected? In the past, we’ve just used an average. Whether the plane was flown in very harsh or very favorable conditions, they were all treated the same. With the data coming off those engines, you have a better ability to predict failures in blades, etcetera. That’s an industrial example, but there are so many ways to take advantage of the data that we already have. It could be our financial systems, it could be any of our functional areas.”

Emily Boedecker appointed Commissioner, Vermont Environmental Conservation Department


Feb. 27, 2017: Emily Boedecker was appointed as the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) by Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Boedecker joins DEC from the private sector, having worked as the executive director for Local Motion, a Burlington, Vermont-based non-profit organization that advocates for walkable and bikeable communities. She brings to the position more than a decade of experience in marketing, fundraising, business development, management and partner engagement. Boedecker previously worked as the acting state director at the Nature Conservancy of Vermont, and she held various positions in France and California for Hewlett-Packard and VeriFone.

Riley Allen appointed Deputy Commissioner, Vermont Public Service Department


Feb. 27, 2017: Riley Allen was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service by Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Allen most recently worked as a senior adviser, research director and global research manager at the Regulatory Assistance Project in Montpelier, Vermont. He previously worked as the Planning Director at the Department of Public Service, before he joined the staff at the Public Service Board as a Senior Policy Adviser and Hearing Officer in 2008. Allen is an economist with experience analyzing key energy and telecommunications policy, and his expertise includes alternative regulation, energy efficiency planning, avoided cost determinations, demand-response initiatives, standard offer price arrangements and telecommunications regulation.