Governor Rick Snyder announced that Jeff Barnes, who currently serves as Snyder's deputy chief of staff, will take on the additional responsibility of coordinating the departments of Corrections, State Police and Military and Veterans affairs as the new public safety group executive.
Barnes is a highly-decorated 10-year army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, a tour in the Balkans when it was a combat zone and a tour in Korea. For his service, he earned two Bronze Stars (including one with the "Valor" distinction), a Meritorious Service Medal and a Combat Action Badge. He also received the order of St. George.
"Ensuring the public's safety is one of the most basic and essential of all government responsibilities," Snyder said. "Jeff's incredible experience managing large organizations in stressful situations gives me every confidence that he will rise to the challenge of using taxpayer resources more efficiently to make sure residents are secure and those who provide that security are also protected."
As a troop commander, Barnes was responsible for the training, development and welfare of 358 soldiers and their families. He managed 16 platoons and sections and $140 million worth of equipment. Barnes oversaw logistical support for more than 700 soldiers while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2003, Barnes' squadron was the lead unit of the U.S. Armed Forces from Kuwait to Baghdad and conducted operations in Baghdad, Balad and Fallujah. Later, Barnes' unit provided humanitarian relief and medical support to more than 2,500 Iraqi children and adults in an effort to build community relations.
Following his service in the military, Barnes earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. While pursuing his degree, he served as an intern in the White House under former President George W. Bush in the USA Freedom Corp program. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Most recently, he served as policy director and then campaign manager on Snyder's gubernatorial campaign.