Status of Gov. Evers Appointments

UPDATED: 8/13/19

After Gov. Tony Evers’s inauguration in January, the governor began appointing cabinet secretaries and staff for his new administration. The appointments are still making their way through the Senate for confirmation. While none have been confirmed by the full Senate, all but one of fifteen cabinet secretaries have had public hearings, and eight have been voted out of committees. Below is an update on the status of each acting appointee:

 

Department of Health Services, Secretary – Andrea Palm 

Confirmation hearing in Senate Health & Human Services on Feb. 27; committee vote scheduled for Aug. 21. 

Palm was senior counselor to the federal Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) under President Barack Obama. Prior to working at HHS, Palm worked for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and U.S. Rep. Robert Matsui (D-California). Palm also was senior advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary – Mary Kolar

Confirmation hearing in Senate Transportation, Veterans & Military Affairs on Feb. 20; confirmation recommended by committee 4-0 on Aug. 8.

Kolar is a veteran and served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Previously, she worked as the director of public operations at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and as the president for the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Place Condominium Association.   

  

Department of Transportation, Secretary – Craig Thompson

Confirmation hearing in Senate Transportation, Veterans & Military Affairs on Feb. 20; confirmation recommended by committee 4-0 on Aug. 8.

Thompson was previously executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association.

 

Department of Children & Families, Secretary – Emilie Amundson 

Confirmation hearing in Senate Universities, Technical Colleges, Children & Families on March 6; committee vote scheduled for Aug. 27.

Amundson was previously Evers’s chief of staff at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

 

Public Service Commission, Chair – Rebecca Cameron Valcq

Confirmation hearing in Senate Utilities & Housing on March 12; confirmation recommended by committee 5-0 on March 21. 

Valcq was previously a partner at Quarles & Brady and previously worked as attorney for WE Energies.

 

Department of Workforce Development, Secretary – Caleb Frostman

Confirmation hearing in Senate Local Government, Small Business, Tourism & Workforce Development on March 20.

Frostman won the June 2018 special election for Senate District 1 but lost in November to Sen. Andre Jacque (R-DePere). Before running for Senate, Frostman was the Door County Economic Development Corp. executive director.

 

Department of Tourism, Secretary – Sara Meaney

Confirmation hearing in Senate Local Government, Small Business, Tourism & Workforce Development on March 20.

Meaney was formerly chief marketing officer for Milwaukee Film.

 

Department of Corrections, Secretary – Kevin Carr

Confirmation hearing in Senate Judiciary & Public Safety on Feb. 20; confirmation recommended by committee 4-0 on March 20. 

Carr is a U.S. Marshal and previously worked with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Department of Safety & Professional Services, Secretary – Dawn Crim

Confirmation hearing in Senate Public Benefits, Licensing & State-Federal Relations on March 13. 

Crim joins the administration from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and previously worked at UW-Madison.

 

Department of Natural Resources, Secretary – Preston Cole

Confirmation hearing in Senate Sporting Heritage, Mining & Forestry on March 7. 

Cole was previously a commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services and a member of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board.

 

Department of Administration, Secretary – Joel Brennan

Confirmation hearing in Senate Government Operations, Technology & Consumer Protection on Feb. 19; confirmation recommended by committee 5-0 on Feb. 26.

Brennan was most recently CEO of Discovery World in Milwaukee.

 

Department of Financial Institutions, Secretary – Kathy Coltin Blumenfeld

Confirmation hearing in Senate Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions on Feb. 19; confirmation recommended by committee 9-0 on Feb. 22. 

Blumenfeld was most recently the executive vice president for Total Administrative Services Corporation and had previously worked for CUNA.

 

Department of Trade, Agriculture & Consumer Protections, Secretary – Brad Pfaff

Confirmation hearing in Senate Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions on Feb. 19; confirmation recommended by committee 9-0 on Feb. 22.

Pfaff was most recently deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse).

 

Department of Revenue, Secretary – Peter Barca 

Confirmation hearing in Senate Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions on Feb. 19; confirmation recommended by committee 9-0 on Feb. 22.

After the announcement of his appointment, Rep. Barca (D-Kenosha) resigned his seat in the state Assembly.

 

Commissioner of Insurance, Secretary – Mark Afable 

No confirmation hearing scheduled; in Senate Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight & Courts. 

Before joining the administration, Afable worked at American Family Insurance as chief legal officer and vice president.

 

Read more about Evers appointees.