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Governor Whitmer Announces Key Appointments to Cabinet State Agencies and Executive Staff

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced several appointments and staff filling high-level roles in state government. The governor welcomes these talented individuals, all of whom have a depth of experience, a wealth of subject area knowledge, and extensive management expertise. 

"The State of Michigan will benefit from all of today's appointments, and I look forward to working with this talented group of people to put Michiganders first and get things done," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to usher in a new era of prosperity for our state, and I am proud to have a skilled, experienced team by my side as we work together to deliver real change on the kitchen-table fundamental issues that make a difference in people's lives." 

Christopher Harkins will serve as the state's new Budget Director. Christopher is currently the Director of the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency, a role he was appointed to by Senate Republicans, since January 2019. He has several years of experience in Michigan state government at the State Budget Office and the House Republican Policy Office. Christopher received his master's from Pennsylvania State University and his undergraduate degree at MSU.  

"It is an honor to serve my State in this capacity and I want to thank Governor Whitmer for the opportunity," said Christopher Harkins. "Budgets are the embodiment of the priorities of our citizenry, and I look forward to putting my state budget experience to work to once again find common ground with the legislature as we create another strong budget for next year." 

Julia Dale will serve as the State of Michigan's new Director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB). Julia most recently served as an Assistant Attorney General and Section Head of Business and Charities Section in the Office of the Attorney General and previously worked in various high-level roles at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Julia received her J.D. at Wayne State University and her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University.  

"The ability to serve the people of Michigan under Governor Whitmer is a tremendous honor," said Julia Dale. "I look forward to building on the Department's exceptional customer service to Michigan residents, state employees, and businesses." 

"I am so grateful to outgoing DTMB Director Brom Stibitz for his years of service at the department," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "Director Stibitz led the state through historic crises and facilitated a smooth transition to remote work for thousands of state employees to help ensure Michiganders got the resources they needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our families, communities, and small businesses are better off today because of the incredible work he did as director. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Poppy Sias-Hernandez will serve as the new Executive Director of Global Michigan while continuing her role as the state's Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. Poppy has served in the executive office since day one of the Whitmer administration in two roles, first as the West Michigan Regional Director of Community Affairs and currently, as the state's Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. Poppy received her master's from Western Michigan University and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. 

The governor also made two changes to her executive staff.  

Maria Martinez, formerly Deputy Legal Counsel to the Governor, was selected to serve as Chief Compliance Officer. Maria joined the executive office in December 2020 and brings experience as a former in-house counsel for a Michigan business and working as an attorney at Bodman PLC, a Detroit-based law firm. Maria received both her J.D. and undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. 

Marc Rehmann was selected to serve as the governor's Policy Director. Marc joins the administration after serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), a Senior Campaign Manager at the Center for American Progress, and a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-TX). Marc received both his J.D. and undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.