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Gov. Whitmer Announces New Cabinet Members & Staff


February 23, 2024



Gov. Whitmer Announces New Cabinet Members & Staff


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Marlon Brown will lead the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) as its permanent director and Suzanna Shkreli was selected to serve as commissioner at the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery. The governor also announced additional promotions and hires within the executive office.  


“Michigan is on the move because of Michiganders who get things done that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am so excited to welcome Marlon and Suzy to their leadership roles. Both of them have spent their careers working to make our state government more efficient and effective. Additionally, I am welcoming some new and familiar faces to my executive office team. Together, we are going to keep our foot on the accelerator and move Michigan forward.”  


Marlon Brown, Director of LARA

Marlon Brown will serve as the director at LARA, effective immediately, after seven months in the acting director role. Prior to that, Brown was the chief administrative officer (CAO) overseeing the central services of the department including communications, finance and administration, human resources, policy and legislative affairs, and equity and inclusion initiatives. As CAO, he worked to develop and implement strategic priorities, policies, and procedures for the department. Brown also served as director of LARA's Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Brown has a long history of public service, including previous roles with the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the State Budget Office. Brown earned a bachelor's degree in political science from American University, a master's degree in public administration from the University of Delaware, and a doctorate in public administration from Valdosta State University. 


“It is an incredible honor to continue serving our state in this important role,” said incoming LARA Director Marlon Brown. “The work we do at LARA makes life better for Michiganders. Whether they’re seeking to start their own business or applying for licenses to begin their career, our goal is to make sure Michiganders have everything they need to be successful. I want to thank Governor Whitmer and the selfless public servants at LARA for the opportunity to continue advancing our mission of protecting people and promoting business.”


This appointment is subject to advice and consent of the Senate.


Marlon Brown


Suzanna Shkreli, Lottery Commissioner

Suzanna Shkreli will serve as commissioner of the Lottery as a member of Governor Whitmer’s cabinet, beginning March 1. She currently serves as the Director of Juvenile Justice Reform at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In that role, Shkreli focuses on addressing the systemic and persistent issues with the juvenile justice system and implementation of recommendations made by the Juvenile Justice Task Force. Through her efforts, nearly 100 additional placements were secured over the past year for juvenile justice youth and the State of Michigan is set to receive $850,000 in federal grant funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice Detention and Prevention (OJJDP) to help Michigan move forward in reform efforts. She also currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect where she chairs the training subcommittee on child fatality protocol development. 


Prior to joining MDHHS, Shkreli served as Michigan’s Children’s Ombudsman and worked as deputy legal counsel in the Executive Office of the Governor. Before joining state government, she served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office. Shkreli is a graduate of Oakland University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. 


“It is a tremendous honor to continue the longstanding work of the Michigan Lottery,” said incoming Lottery Commissioner Suzanna Shkreli. “I look forward to working closely with local vendors and retailers who are vital to the success of the program. Under Governor Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan Lottery continues to deliver record results for our children’s education across the state – with more than $1.3 billion from the Lottery going to schools last year. I’m thankful to Governor Whitmer for the opportunity to serve in this new role and I look forward to working with the entire Lottery team to continue this success.”


This appointment is subject to advice and consent of the Senate. The current acting commissioner of the Lottery, Jessica Weare, has accepted a new position within state government. An announcement will be made in the coming month.


Suzanna Shkreli


Executive Office Staff 

Governor Whitmer announced additional promotions and hires within the legal, policy, and appointments divisions in the executive office.

Shelia Marshall-Curtis, Chief Compliance Officer

Shelia Marshall-Curtis serves as chief compliance officer in the executive office. She has more than fifteen years of experience in compliance, fraud, and risk for the private and public sector, holding positions at IAV Automotive Engineering, Toyota Motor North America, Archdiocese of Detroit, and the State of Michigan. She received her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School and holds a Bachelor of Science in Organization Administration from Central Michigan University.  She also holds an MBA with an Accounting Concentration. She is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP).

Vignesh Meyyappan, Associate Legal Counsel

Vignesh Meyyappan has joined the executive office as an associate legal counsel. He brings experience in government, serving in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Vignesh previously worked as an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.  

Stephanie O’Dea, Senior Education Advisor

Stephanie O’Dea was promoted to senior education advisor after serving as the governor’s K-12 policy advisor for the last two years. She brings a wealth of experience from the educational field. Stephanie served for 19 years as a high school teacher and K-12 administrator in several school districts (Cheboygan, Goodrich, Mt. Morris and New Lothrop) across the state, and as the associate superintendent of instruction at Montcalm Area Intermediate School District. She was elected to the General Education Leadership Network executive board, previously serving as the chair. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Spring Arbor University, a secondary teaching certificate, a K-12 administrative certificate and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan- Flint. She is a proud parent of three Michigan public school students.

Emma Young, Policy Analyst 

Emma Young was promoted to policy analyst – specializing in early learning and higher education. She has been with the executive office for over two and a half years, previously serving as the policy assistant. Prior to this she worked as an issue specialist in the governor’s Constituent Services Division. From that position, she worked on constituent concerns regarding public health and financial assistance. Emma earned a bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy and international relations with a minor in Arabic from Michigan State University. 

Jayla Irons, Policy Assistant

Jayla Irons joined the executive office as a policy assistant. She brings experience in research as an analyst intern at MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. Jayla graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Joseph Timmer, Appointment Specialist 

Joseph Timmer has been hired as a specialist within the governor’s Appointments Division. He is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in public policy with a focus on political communication and policy framing. While in college, Timmer volunteered on a number of political campaigns and served as a legislative and constituent services intern for state Representative Mari Manoogian.