Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2021
Whitmer Administration Announces Staff Changes
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, the Whitmer Administration announced promotions and new staff hires within the Governor’s Communications Office and Constituent Services Department
Bobby Leddy, who previously served as the governor’s deputy press secretary, has been promoted to press secretary. Chelsea Lewis Parisio, who served as deputy press secretary, will take on a greater leadership role on the press team as chief deputy press secretary. New to the team are Samantha Kennedy, who will serve as deputy press secretary, and Chaitanya Karve who will serve as speechwriter. Within the Constituent Services Department, Rachel Plawecki has been promoted to serve as Director of Constituent Services and Ed Dichoza has been promoted to serve as Deputy Director of Constituent Services.
“We are excited and eager for this new chapter within our communications team. Bobby has been an essential part of our team since the first month of the administration and has worked around the clock throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to communicate the governor’s message and protect Michiganders,” said Tiffany Brown, Communications Director to Governor Whitmer. “I am pleased that Chelsea will continue to serve as a key part of the communications team, and will help to lead the press team. We are also delighted to welcome both Sam and Chai, who have both built their careers in communications across the country. I am confident that each of them will bring a unique perspective as we work to get things done for the people of Michigan.”
“Throughout their time at the Constituent Services Department, both Rachel and Ed have proven over and over again that they are committed to serving the people of Michigan,” said Melanie Brown, Deputy Chief of Staff. “They have each been a crucial part of the department and have done extraordinary work to serve the governor’s constituents. I know they will each help lead both the department and Michiganders through the pandemic and beyond.”
Bobby Leddy previously served as deputy press secretary for Governor Whitmer. Before entering the executive office, he served in the Michigan State Senate communications department. He studied at Michigan State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy.
Before serving as chief deputy press secretary, Chelsea Parisio worked in the Communications Office at the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy. She also holds a master’s degree in Communications from Grand Valley State University.
Samantha Kennedy previously served as the press secretary for the Iowa Democratic Party and coordinated campaign in the 2020 general election. She is also an alum of the Pete Buttigieg campaign and GPS Impact, a progressive digital firm. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy.
Chai Karve was formerly the staff writer/editor at American Bridge 21st Century PAC. He also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for Representative Katherine Clark, at speechwriting firm West Wing Writers, and for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Southern California.
Rachel Plawecki previously served as Deputy Director of Correspondence. Before her time at Governor Whitmer’s office, she served as Deputy Legislative Director for former House Democratic Leader Christine Greig and Legislative Director for State Representative Darrin Camilleri (HD-23). She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Environment.
Ed Dichoza previously served as Deputy Director of Casework. Prior to joining the Whitmer administration, he served as a legislative assistant to State Senator Curtis Hertel, Jr., contract manager for the Michigan WIC Program, health legislation policy analyst and constituent issues legislative liaison for the Department of Community Health under Governor Granholm, and Legislative Assistant to former State Representative Kathleen Law. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Economy and in Political Theory Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University.