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Secretary Benson names Melissa Smiley as chief of staff

Special Announcement

LANSING – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has named Melissa Smiley as the new chief of staff for the Michigan Department of State.
Smiley, who will begin Jan. 6, 2020, brings strategic leadership experience gained in a career that spans government, academia and philanthropy. She is currently the vice president of strategy and operations at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and previously served as the deputy chief of staff for City of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
“Melissa’s experience as a strategic advisor, paired with her commitment to collaboration and transparency, will make her an exceptionally strong chief of staff,” said Benson. “I look forward to working with her to advance our many ongoing and upcoming policy and service initiatives.”
Smiley holds a doctorate and two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. She has lived in Michigan for 16 years.
“I am thrilled to join Secretary Benson and her administration to strengthen and expand access to our democracy for all Michiganders, and to improve the customer experience at branch offices across the state,” Smiley said.
Smiley succeeds Hilarie Chambers, who served as the department’s chief of staff until August, when she was appointed Oakland County chief deputy county executive.

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