Scott A. Smith serves the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer as Chief of Staff. Prior to this appointment, he served Governor Brewer as Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of the Department of Administration and as Deputy Chief of Staff of Legislative Affairs. Mr. Smith carries more than 20 years of experience in state government. Since beginning his career with the Arizona House of Representatives, he has worked in multiple capacities for the Department of Administration and the Department of Corrections, and has served as the Director of State Relations for Arizona State University. Mr. Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in 1991 from Arizona State University.
Kathy Peckardt serves as Governor Brewer's Deputy Chief of Staff. Prior to this appointment, Kathy served as the State's Human Resources Director for over ten years. Ms. Peckardt served in a leadership role in the implementation of Personnel Reform, a significant effort to modernize the State's antiquated personnel system. In addition under Ms. Peckardt's leadership, in 2004, the State successfully transitioned the State's Health Insurance for approximately 60,000 members from a fully-insured to a self-insured program. Prior to serving as the State Human Resources Director, Ms. Peckardt served in multiple capacities for the Department of Administration. Ms. Peckardt earned her Bachelor of Science in 1984 from Arizona State University.
John Arnold Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting
John Arnold serves as the Director of the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). In this capacity, he is involved in the compilation, analysis and investigation of all state fiscal matters, including advising the Governor and all entities of state government in the preparation, development and execution of the Executive budget. Prior to his work with OSPB, Mr. Arnold served as the Executive Director of the School of Facilities Board (SFB), where he oversaw the issuance and maintenance of over $2.5 billion in school construction-related debt. He also has served in the Governor's Office of Economic Recovery, worked as Deputy Director of Finance for the School Facilities Board and as Education Manager for OSPB. Mr. Arnold holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting as well as Master's degrees in Accounting and Public Management from Brigham Young University.
Jamie Bennett serves as the Governor's Policy Advisor for Human Services. Her duties include research and analysis, as well as oversight of several boards and task forces. Ms. Bennett acts as a liaison between the Governor’s Office and the Department of Economic Security. Prior to joining the Governor's policy team, she interned with the Town of Gilbert, served as a Page in the State Senate, and worked in a primary care doctor's office for several years. More recently, she has worked in the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions, the Governor's Office of Constituent Services, and the Department of Economic Security's Office of Legislative Services. Ms. Bennett graduated with honors from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology.
Matthew Benson serves as Director of Communications for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. Mr. Benson's duties include strategic management and direction of executive communications, as well as media relations and coordination with state agencies. Prior to joining the Governor's Office in January 2011, Mr. Benson was Director of Communications for the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. He also spent a decade as a newspaper reporter, including – most recently – more than four years covering state politics for The Arizona Republic. Mr. Benson graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism.
MJ Bildner serves as the Governor's Assistant Policy Advisor for Public Safety where he advises the Governor on issues regarding corrections, juvenile corrections and law enforcement. Prior to joining the Governor's policy team, Mr. Bildner worked at the Arizona House of Representatives as an assistant legislative research analyst for the House Judiciary and Commerce committees. Mr. Bildner started working at the House as a page for two sessions prior to moving over to House Research staff. Mr. Bildner graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in History, and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice.
Leisa B. Brug is the Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Policy and serves as Energy Policy Advisor for Governor Jan Brewer. Ms. Brug served as Chief of Staff in the California Legislature prior to moving to Arizona to accept her current position. She has an extensive career history in policy and research, crisis management and government affairs. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Governor's Solar Energy Task Force, a member of the Arizona Commerce Authority Renewable Energy Committee, Chair of the Arizona/Mexico Commission Energy Committee and represents Arizona on the Border Governor's Conference Energy Work Table. Ms. Brug also manages an energy office staff of 21 people, overseeing efforts to ensure that the State's investment of $132 million in federal energy funds reap the benefits Arizonans expect and deserve. Leisa attended college at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is also a graduate of the Marion Bergeson Public Service Series.
Kelsey Bullington Deputy Director of Public Affairs
Kelsey Bullington serves as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this capacity, she helps coordinate the Governor's schedule and public events and bridges the gap between the public and their state government through community outreach and assisting with media relations. Serving as the Arizona Ready Coordinator in the Governor's Office of Education Innovation furthered a long-standing passion for education in Arizona, and she remains committed to, and involved with, the implementation of the Governor's Arizona Ready Education Reform Plan. Ms. Bullington brings valuable experience and knowledge having previously served as Public Information Officer and Community Relations Manager for Governor Brewer, working in the Secretary of State's Office and interning at the Arizona House of Representatives. An Arizona native, she was born and raised in Flagstaff and attended the University of Arizona, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Journalism.
Ann Dockendorff serves as Deputy Press Secretary for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this capacity, she is involved with media relations and strategic communications pertaining to the Office. Ms. Dockendorff joined the Governor's Office as an intern and later as a Communications Specialist prior to serving in her current role. Before joining the Governor's Staff, she served as the Communications intern for the Majority Staff of the Arizona State Senate. Ms. Dockendorff graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Arizona, and holds a B.A. degree in Communication with minors in Spanish and Sociology.
Margie Emmermann is the Director of the Arizona-Mexico Commission and serves as Policy Advisor for Mexico and Latin America for Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this role, she works to help shape and implement policy initiatives as they relate to Arizona's international agenda. She previously served Governors Fife Symington, Jane Dee Hull and Janet Napolitano as Mexico Policy Advisor, Liaison to the Hispanic Community, Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce and Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. Ms. Emmermann's twenty-one year career in the private sector includes serving as vice president and manager of Hispanic marketing/community relations for Bank of America and key management positions in marketing and strategic planning for US WEST Communications. She has been honored by many Valley organizations for her community involvement and serves on the boards of notable organizations.
Christina Estes-Werther is the Deputy General Counsel for Governor Janice K. Brewer and assists the General Counsel with legal matters concerning the Office of the Governor. She most recently served as Governor Brewer's Policy Advisor for Human Services and worked at the Arizona State Senate as the Deputy Director of Research Staff and three years as the Research Analyst for the Senate Judiciary Committee. She graduated from University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in Family Studies and Human Development and earned her juris doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington.
Dale Frost serves as Education Policy Advisor to Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this capacity, Mr. Frost plays a key role in advising the Governor on both K-12 and higher education issues statewide. Prior to his current appointment, he worked as a Senior Budget Analyst with the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB). During his time at OSPB, Mr. Frost oversaw the budgets and budget-related issues of Arizona universities and community colleges, as well as the School Facilities Board, the Office of Tourism, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the former Department of Commerce and the state Lottery. He earned his Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Brigham Young University.
Rebecca Gau serves as Director of the Governor's Office of Education Innovation. In this capacity, she helps lead state efforts to implement the State's Education Reform Plan, "Arizona Ready," and ensure students are prepared to meet the needs of the 21st century. As Director, she also works with Governor Brewer's P-20 Education Council (renamed the Arizona Ready Education Council) to drive collaboration and continuous improvement at all levels of the education pipeline, while respecting local control. Ms. Gau has an extensive background in education policy, research and data analysis. Prior to the Governor's Office, Ms. Gau served as Vice President with the Arizona Charter Schools Association, where she focused upon strategic planning, performance management, business development and research and data analysis. Her research has been published in journals, textbooks and newspapers. She has served on several state-level committees, including the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Task Force and the State-Wide Longitudinal Data System Task Force, and is the Executive Council Advisor for the Arizona Alternative Education Consortium (AZ AEC). Ms. Gau received her Master's in Public Policy from Duke University.
Don Hughes serves as Policy Advisor for Health Care and Executive Director for the Arizona Health Insurance Exchange for the Office of the Governor Janice K. Brewer. He is responsible for policy issues regarding health care, behavioral health, public health, Medicaid, insurance, tort reform and health care innovation. Prior to his current role in the Governor's Office, Mr. Hughes was Special Advisor for Health Care Innovation in charge of planning for an Arizona health insurance exchange and other health care reforms. He also served as a policy advisor for Governor Jane Dee Hull on regulatory, insurance and health care issues. Mr. Hughes has a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from the University of Illinois in political science and history.
Michael Hunter is Governor Janice K. Brewer's Director of Policy and Special Advisor on Tax Policy & Reform. During 2011 and 2012, he served as the Governor's Director of Legislative Affairs. From 2007 through 2010, he served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Budget and Finance for the Republican Caucus of the Arizona State Senate. He has also held positions as Government Affairs Director for the Arizona Board of Regents and as Vice President of the Arizona Tax Research Association. Mr. Hunter is a recognized expert in public finance and taxation, and has served on numerous committees in state government, including the Arizona Fiscal Accountability Committee and the School Finance Advisory Committee. Most recently, he served as chairman of Governor Brewer's Transaction Privilege Tax Simplification Task Force. He received his Bachelor's Degree in political science from the California State University, Long Beach, and his Master of Arts, also in political science, from the University of California, Riverside.
Steven Killian Policy Advisor, Business & Regulatory Affairs
Steven Killian serves as the Policy Advisor for Business & Regulatory Affairs for Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this capacity, Mr. Killian advises Governor Brewer on the regulatory business climate in Arizona. Prior to joining Governor Brewer's office, Mr. Killian was a partner with Sunny Mesa, Inc., a real estate investment firm. At Sunny Mesa, Mr. Killian sourced and qualified investment opportunities and managed the due diligence of acquisitions. Mr. Killian is a sixth generation Arizonan and holds degrees from Arizona State University.
Kevin R. Kinsall serves as Governor Jan Brewer's Natural Resources Policy Advisor. Responsibilities include interfacing with Arizona Land Department, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, Game and Fish Department, State Parks Department, Department of Forestry, Arizona Geological Survey, Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, Arizona Historical Society, and the Arizona Centennial Project. Formerly, Mr. Kinsall was with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, serving as Director of Tax Research and later as Director of State and Local Government Relations. He also served in the Arizona State Senate as Financial Affairs Advisor, the Administrative Aid to the Chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission and a Cost Accountant for Shamrock Foods Company. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona and Phoenix Chambers of Commerce, the Arizona Mining Association and Chairman of the Arizona Tax Research Association and the Arizona Foundation for Resource Education. Mr. Kinsall brings more than 25 years experience in strategic planning and consensus building in government relations, taxation, regulatory and campaign finance matters.
Lupe Lerma serves as Director of Constituent Services. In this capacity, she serves the public by responding to individuals who seek information or help in addressing an unresolved issue with a state agency, board or commission. Prior to her appointment as Constituent Services Director, Ms. Lerma worked for Maricopa County, where she served county residents who sought public information or public records. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, and graduated with honors from Webster University with a Master's degree in Public Administration.
John McCleve, CPA, serves as the Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller for the Office of the Governor. Duties include overseeing all accounting, budgeting, procurement, HR, payroll and financial grant compliance/monitoring within the Governor's Office. Mr. McCleve has served in this role since January 1995. Prior to joining the Governor's Office, he spent several years in the areas of auditing and overseeing the cash management program for the State of Arizona. Mr. McCleve graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant.
Christopher McIsaac Special Assistant for Healthcare Innovation
Britann O'Brien Director, Southern Arizona Office
Britann O'Brien is the Director of the Southern Arizona Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing the operations of the Governor's Tucson office, which is responsible for the Governor's outreach, events, and constituent services for southern Arizona. Prior to joining the Governor's staff, Ms. O'Brien served as Homeland Security Specialist for U.S. Senator Jon Kyl from 2000-2011. Her duties included service as the Senator's on-the-ground border liaison to federal, state and local government officials, as well as law enforcement, tribal, trade and private entities in southern Arizona. She has been heavily involved in constituent outreach and problem resolution, and has expertise in the areas of border security, immigration and veterans and military affairs. Ms. O'Brien graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arizona in 1998.
Ryan Owens serves as Policy Advisor to Governor Janice K. Brewer, where he covers areas involving Military Affairs, Veterans' Services, Emergency Management and Transportation. Prior to accepting this position, Mr. Owens worked in the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions. Before joining the Governor's Office, Mr. Owens was a Certified Contract Advisor with the NFL Players Association. He attended the United States Air Force Academy and then Arizona State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He earned his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington.
Shaun Rieve serves as the Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this role, Mr. Rieve monitors legislation and serves as a liaison between the Governor's Office and the Legislature. Mr. Rieve served as Legislative and Policy Analyst for the Arizona Department of Gaming, where he coordinated legislative initiatives and worked diligently with his tribal counterparts to ensure the integrity of gaming operations around the state. Mr. Rieve brings valuable and diverse experience after having previously served at the Arizona Department of Housing and the Governor's Office for Children, Youth, and Families. He was raised in Lake Havasu City and relocated to Phoenix to attend Arizona State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a minor in Global Studies, and certificates in Civic Education and International Relations.
Lorna Romero serves as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In this role, Ms. Romero monitors legislation and serves as a liaison between the Governor's Office and the Legislature. In addition, Ms. Romero works on policy issues related to commerce and workforce development. During 2011 and 2012, she served as the Governor’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining the administration, Ms. Romero was the Director of Government Relations for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry where she played a key role in enhancing the state's business climate through regulatory, tax and labor reform. She graduated with honors from Arizona State University from the Barrett Honors College with degrees in Political Science and History, a certificate in International Relations and a minor in Spanish.
Kim Sabow serves as Director of Public Affairs for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. She directs a staff overseeing the Governor's schedule, travel and events and also serves as the Governor's liaison with communities and media organizations throughout the country. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Sabow served as Media Coordinator for Brewer's Gubernatorial Transition Office fielding all day-to-day media inquiries. She was Deputy Press Secretary for former Arizona Governor Fife Symington and spent several years as an International Trade Specialist at the Arizona Department of Commerce. While at the Arizona Department of Commerce, she assisted numerous Arizona companies in expanding export sales. She has promoted and represented dozens of Arizona corporations on trade missions and at trade exhibitions throughout Latin America and Canada. Ms. Sabow received her Masters in Business Administration in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts with double minors in Communications and Spanish from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Joseph Sciarrotta, Jr. serves as General Counsel to Governor Janice K. Brewer. Duties include advising the Governor and staff regarding legal issues, assisting the Governor during the process of judicial appointments and appearing in or managing litigation involving the Governor. Joe began his legal career with the Phoenix law firm of Fennemore Craig where he represented clients regarding a variety of litigation matters. Subsequently, he became in-house counsel to several national Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, including Allied Waste Industries, Inc. n/k/a Republic Services, Inc. and Meritage Homes Corporation. Immediately prior to joining the Governor's Office, Joe served as General Counsel to the Arizona Department of Administration and Chair of the Governor's Regulatory Review Council. Joe received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors. Subsequently, Joe graduated Order of the Coif from Vanderbilt University School of Law and was Chief Justice of the Vanderbilt Moot Court Board.
Lindsay Scornavacco serves as the Legislative Affairs Associate for the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer. In her position, Ms. Scornavacco tracks legislation and facilitates communication between the Governor's Office and the Legislature. She graduated with honors from Arizona State University from Barrett the Honors College with a degree in Political Science, a minor in Spanish and a certificate in Human Rights. Prior to this position, Ms. Scornavacco served as an intern in the Office of Governor Janice K. Brewer and as a Congressional intern in Washington D.C.
Ryan Serote is Governor Brewer's Director of Federal Relations based in Washington, D.C. In this position, he works closely with Arizona's congressional delegation and executive branch agencies to track legislation, administrative rules, and policies that affect Arizona. Prior to joining the Governor's office in 2008, Mr. Serote directed the external and intergovernmental efforts for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. He was first exposed to federal issues while working on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant to several Members of Congress, including Arizona Representative J.D. Hayworth. Mr. Serote holds a degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, and earned an MBA from George Washington University while working on the Hill and raising a young family.
Drew Sexton Public Affairs and Communications Specialist
Drew Sexton is the Public Affairs and Communications Specialist for the Office of Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer. He is responsible for the coordination and execution of the Governor's public events and appearances, as well as social media outreach and assisting with media relations. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Sexton was an assistant account executive at HighGround Inc. in Phoenix, where he also served as the deputy campaign manager for the Salmon for Congress campaign. Mr. Sexton has completed multiple internships with various organizations and elected officials, including the Goldwater Institute and the Washington Policy Center. Mr. Sexton received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Economics from Arizona State University in December 2011.
Linda Stiles serves as the Director of Governor Brewer's Office of Boards and Commissions. Her duties include recruiting and vetting candidates and making recommendations to the Governor for appointments to over 270 statewide boards, commissions and task forces. Prior to her current role in the Governor's office, Ms. Stiles worked as investigator and Assistant Ombudsman in the Arizona State Legislature's Office of the Ombudsman, providing assistance to citizens having difficulties with state agencies and ensuring state agencies were following statute and appropriate policies and procedures. She also worked for seven years in the Governor's Office as Director of Community and Family Programs, Director of the Division for Children, Special Assistant for Appointments to Boards and Commissions and Manager of Constituent Services. Throughout her career, Ms. Stiles has been active on several state and advisory boards, including Keep Arizona Beautiful, the New Day Educational Center, the Arizona Project for Infant Immunization and the Joint Legislative Committee for Child Care Licensure. Ms. Stiles received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with double minors in Communications and Journalism from the University of Arizona.