SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner announced today Illinois Department of Insurance Director Anne Melissa Dowling will return to the private sector in January.
"Director Dowling has worked diligently to transform the Department of Insurance to better protect the rights of Illinois’ residents, while championing a growth environment for businesses," Governor Rauner said. "Director Dowling’s commitment to protecting taxpayers showed throughout her tenure. On behalf of the people of Illinois, I thank Director Dowling for her service."
"During the past 18 months, we have debated and defined some of the most pressing issues confronting the industry like the use of automated vehicles, Blockchain, cyber security and the coverage of mental health care," Director Dowling said. "I’m proud to have served as Director of Insurance under Governor Rauner and leading the Department in reclaiming Illinois’ preeminence on the national policy stage."
Governor Rauner will appoint Jennifer Hammer the Director of the Department of Insurance. Hammer has extensive experience in healthcare law and policy.
Currently, Hammer is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Office of the Governor. She oversees all policy-making decisions in the Governor’s Office and state agencies. She analyzes and advises the governor on proposed policy, legislation, and rules and regulations. Previously, she was the Policy Adviser for Healthcare and Human Services and Special Counsel to the Governor. In this role, she coordinated all healthcare-related agencies, including the Department of Insurance. She oversaw migration of Get Covered Illinois as an independent commission into the Department of Insurance.
Previously, Hammer worked at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director of the Healthcare Council and Vice President and Legal Counsel of Government Affairs. She also worked for Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C. as an attorney where she practiced insurance defense law, healthcare law, business law, and advised clients on legislation like the Affordable Care Act.
Hammer earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and her law degree from Southern Illinois University. She lives in Springfield.
The governor today also made a number of staff announcements. Tim Nuding, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) will be transitioning out of state government after a 27 year career in public service to pursue other opportunities. Current GOMB Chief of Staff Scott Harry has been named the new Director of GOMB.
Harry has served as GOMB’s Chief of Staff since January 2015. He has 27-years of public service experience working for the State of Illinois with responsibilities in budgeting, financial management and grant accountability.
For 20 of those years, Harry worked at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). He became the agency’s first Chief Accountability Officer in 2008 and led the implementation of a progressive and standardized approach to grants management and performance monitoring. Harry started at DCEO in 1994 as the agency’s Budget Director and was later promoted to Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for managing the agency’s finances for a period of 10 years.
Harry received his MBA from the University of Illinois-Springfield and his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University. He lives in Springfield.
In addition, Governor Rauner announced today he has named Michael Mahoney the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs. Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs Mitch Holzrichter is joining the law firm Mayer Brown LLP as a partner in the Chicago office at the end of January. He will continue to oversee legislative affairs through the end of the 99th General Assembly.
Additionally, Jim Kaitschuk has been named to the enhanced role of Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs and Administrative Policy Initiatives and Bob Stefanski has been named Director of House and Senate Operations. Current Policy Adviser for Transportation and Infrastructure Brian Oszakiewski has been named Director of Policy.
In addition, Governor Rauner has also hired Phillip Rodriguez as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement and Brad Hahn as the Director of Communications. Catherine Kelly has been named Deputy Director of Communications and Allie Bovis has been named Press Secretary.
Name: Michael Mahoney
Position: Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs
Governor Rauner has named Michael Mahoney Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs. Mahoney currently serves as the Senior Policy Adviser to the governor focusing on pensions, revenue, gaming and economic policy.
Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Mahoney worked for the Illinois House Republican Caucus as the Deputy Director of Research and Appropriations.
Mahoney attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his degree in economics. He grew up in Joliet and now resides in Wicker Park.
Name: Phillip Rodriguez
Position: Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement
Governor Rauner has named Phillip Rodriguez Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement. He brings more than 10 years of external affairs experience in municipal and state government to the Administration.
Most recently, Rodriguez served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Comptroller Leslie Munger. He oversaw the external affairs divisions of her office including public affairs, small business development, legislation, and local government and constituent communications. Within this role, he identified new avenues to increasing constituent interaction and other opportunities for the public to interact with the Comptroller’s Office on a day-to-day basis.
Prior to his work with Comptroller Munger, Rodriguez was the Director of Public Affairs for the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
Rodriguez earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and his master’s degree from DePaul University. He and his family reside in Glen Ellyn.
Name: Brad Hahn
Position: Director of Communications
Governor Rauner has named Brad Hahn Director of Communications. He brings more than two decades of communication and journalism experience to the role.
Most recently, Hahn served as Chief of Staff to Comptroller Leslie Munger where he oversaw all aspects of the comptroller’s office. Previously he served as Communications Director to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. In addition, he has experience in the private sector working for Burnham Strategies where he worked with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and Judy Baar Topinka’s campaign for comptroller.
Hahn also was a reporter and columnist for a number of newspapers including the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Elgin Courier-News, the Daily Herald, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel where he covered the historic 36-day recount of the 2000 presidential campaign.
Hahn earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. He was raised in Deerfield and is now raising his family there, as well.