GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES SENIOR STAFF APPOINTMENTS FOR NEXT TWO YEARS
BOSTON – Friday, January 4, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced appointments to his senior staff, as his administration prepares for a new legislative session and ambitious agenda for 2013.
“I am pleased to welcome an exceptional group of individuals that have shown extraordinary leadership and an unrivaled passion for public service. We have a strong team in place with the expertise and talent to help us deliver on our bold agenda over the next two years,” said Governor Patrick. “I am sad to see long-serving members of my staff leave for new roles. I thank Alex and Mark for their dedication and hard work in helping us create a stronger Commonwealth, and wish them the best of luck.”
Governor Patrick announced in November that Brendan Ryan, currently Director of Communications, would succeed William “Mo” Cowan as the Governor’s Chief of Staff on January 7. Ryan will be joined by:
Kate Cook, Chief Legal Counsel
Cook succeeds Mark Reilly who will be stepping down this month after serving as a member of the Governor’s legal staff since 2007. Cook has held a position as the Director of Policy and Cabinet Affairs for the past two years and previously served as the Governor’s Deputy Legal Counsel and as General Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Prior to joining the Governor’s office, Cook served as Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Boston and clerked for the Honorable U.S. District Judge Morris E. Lasker. Cook is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School.
Reilly was among the longest continuously serving members of the Governor’s staff. He was appointed Deputy Legal Counsel in January 2007, and has served as Chief since December 2010. While serving as Chief Legal Counsel, Reilly advised the Governor on the appointment of more than 60 judicial officers, including Supreme Judicial Court Justice Barbara A. Lenk, and Appeals Court Justices Peter W. Agnes and Mary T. Sullivan. Reilly also drafted key provisions of several of the Governor’s major reform proposals, including transportation reform and health care cost-containment.
Maydad Cohen, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Cabinet Affairs
Cohen joins the Governor’s staff after serving for two years as Chief of Staff to Secretary Joanne Goldstein at the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Cohen previously served as General Counsel at the Department of Labor Relations. Prior to joining state government, Cohen worked as a labor and employment lawyer in Boston for Pyle, Rome, Lichten, Ehrenberg & Liss-Riordan and in Washington, D.C. for O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and American University Washington College of Law.
Rosemary Powers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Government Affairs
Rosemary Powers will become Deputy Chief of Staff for Government Affairs and will continue to serve in her role as Senior Director of Government Affairs. In her role as Senior Director of Government Affairs, Rosemary is responsible for devising and supporting the Governor’s legislative agenda. She is the main point of contact in the Governor’s office for elected officials at the state and local levels. Powers will continue to handle those responsibilities while also overseeing the Governor's D.C. Office and all federal interactions. Before joining the Governor’s office, Powers served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Environmental Protection and as Chief of Staff to Senator Jack Hart. She is a graduate of Suffolk University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Jesse Mermell, Director of Communications
Mermell takes over as Director of Communications for newly appointed Chief of Staff Brendan Ryan. She joins the Governor’s office after serving for the past two years as State Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Mermell is also the former Vice President for External Affairs at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus. Mermell has served as Selectman in the town of Brookline since 2007. She is a graduate of Boston College. Additionally, Mermell is a member of the Advisory Board of Emerge Massachusetts and The Starfish Project. She is the 2002 recipient of the Michael S. Dukakis Award from the Massachusetts Democratic Party, a 2008 Champion for Choice Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, and a 2012 Municipal Leadership Award from the Greater Boston Labor Council.
Nikko Mendoza, Director of Operations
Mendoza succeeds Alex Richman who has left the position of Director of Operations to become the Trade and Tourism Program Manager at Massport. Mendoza has served as Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Government Affairs for nearly two years. Mendoza previously held the position of Assistant Director of Mayor Thomas Menino’s Office of Neighborhood Services, where she managed a team of 19 neighborhood liaisons. She is a graduate of Boston University.
Richman has served on the Governor’s staff in a variety of roles, starting as a volunteer on the Governor’s 2006 campaign. Prior to his role as Director of Operations, Richman served as the Director of Advance and the Director of Scheduling and Advance on the Governor’s 2010 reelection campaign.