PHL-15: Kenney Announces Key Staff Members
The four top staffers were introduced by Kenney at City Hall. Jane Slusser as Chief of Staff, Michael DiBerardinis as Managing Director, Otis Hackney as Chief Education Officer and Deborah Mahler as Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs.
The Kenney transition team provided background information on all four officials which can be read below:
Jane Slusser will serve as Chief of Staff in the Kenney administration. Most recently, Slusser worked as the campaign manager on Jim Kenney’s successful bid for mayor and as Organizing Director at Equality Pennsylvania. Previously, she led Human Rights Campaign’s Americans for Workplace Opportunity statewide campaign in Pennsylvania and, in 2008 and 2012, Slusser worked on President Obama’s election and re-election campaigns in South Philadelphia and Northeastern PA. In 2013, Slusser served as Associate Director of the National Day of Service for President Obama’s Inauguration. A graduate of Barnard College, Slusser also helped to launch social enterprise start-up, Catchafire, where she was Vice President.
Michael (Mike) DiBerardinis will serve as Managing Director. DiBerardinis has served in top administrative posts for two Philadelphia city mayors as well as the Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources under Governor Rendell, where he oversaw 3,000 employees. DiBerardinis currently works as Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources and Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. DiBerardinis has also served as Executive Director of the Campaign for Working Families, a University of Pennsylvania program which increased access to public benefits for eligible families and as the Vice President of Programs for the William Penn Foundation, where he administered the $60 million annual grant-making programs. He was also the Chief of Staff for Congressman Thomas Foglietta from 1986 to 1991.
Otis Hackney will serve as Chief Education Officer. Hackney began his career as a mathematics teacher at Germantown High School and, after completing his principal’s internship at Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia, was appointed assistant principal of South Philadelphia High School. At the age of 35, Hackney became the first African-American appointed principal of Springfield Township High School. In July 2010, Hackney returned to South Philadelphia High School as principal, where he has successfully handled high-profile instances of racially motivated violence — transforming the culture of “Southern” into a model for other urban education systems.
Deborah (Debbie) Mahler will serve as Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs. The Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs will be the Mayor’s chief liaison to City Council as well as state and federal governments. Mahler served as Senior Advisor on Mayor-elect Jim Kenney’s successful bid for mayor and as Kenney’s chief of staff on Philadelphia City Council for nearly twenty years. A native Philadelphian and former teacher, Mahler has served on numerous statewide and municipal campaigns, including Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s Pennsylvania Operation.