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PA-Gov: Wolf Introduces Transition Team

wolfGovernor-elect Tom Wolf formally announced today the leadership for his transition team. The group is designed to help ease the transition from one administration to another.

“I am looking forward to working with a diverse group of leaders to move Pennsylvania forward,” said Gov.-elect Tom Wolf in a press release. “My Transition Team leadership will help me address the major issues facing our commonwealth, and they will help make Pennsylvania work for middle-class families.”

The biographies of each member of the transition are included below:

John A. Fry – Transition Chair

John A. Fry, Drexel University’s 14th president, has served in higher education for his entire professional life, as a consultant, board member, chief operating officer, and chief executive.  Fry has positioned Drexel to become the “modern urban university of the future,” harnessing both long-established and still-emerging strengths to serve its students, its neighborhood, its city, and the nation. Drexel is setting a new standard for cooperative education, investing in its research capacity and becoming a major force for economic development. Fry previously was president of Franklin & Marshall College, where his leadership was instrumental in an unprecedented period of academic growth, campus and neighborhood development, and improved finances. As executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania, he helped develop and implement Penn’s “Agenda for Excellence” and built a coalition to address challenges facing the University City neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

Mayor C. Kim Bracey – Transition Vice-Chair

C. Kim Bracey was elected the first African-American Mayor of the City of York on November 3, 2009. As the City’s chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the City, including its $98 million budget and the enforcement of all City laws and ordinances. Previously, Bracey was the appointed director of the Department of Community Development for the City of York from June 2003 until January 2009 under Mayor John S. Brenner.

Jim Brown – Transition Vice-Chair

Jim Brown currently serves as Chief of Staff to United States Senator Robert Casey, Jr. Brown served as Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey, Sr. from 1989 to 1994. Brown has also served as Pennsylvania Secretary of General Services and was a partner at the law firm Dilworth Paxson, LLP. Brown was a founding partner of SCP Partners, a family of venture capital funds. He worked on Capitol Hill for five years as Staff Director and General Counsel for the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives (now the Committee on Financial Services).

Cynthia Shapira – Transition Vice-Chair

Cynthia D. Shapira is a community activist at the local, state, and national levels. She serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority and chairs the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University. She also serves on the boards of Brandeis University, Point Park University, United Way of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Promise, WQED Pittsburgh, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Shapira is secretary of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Commission on Women. Previously, Shapira was a management consultant for over twenty years in the non-profit and education sectors. She has an MPA from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Wellesley College.

Denise Smyler – Counsel to the Transition

Denise Joy Smyler is the founding attorney and owner of the Smyler Firm, which joined with Wadud Ahmad and Joseph Zaffarese to form Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC in September 2013. Denise is a well-respected commercial litigator and public finance attorney who has successfully represented municipalities, corporations, and government entities for over twenty years. Previously, Denise worked as an Assistant District Attorney and as Legal Counsel to the Philadelphia Prison Commissioner before being appointed Chief Legal Counsel to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner.

Mary Soderberg – Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Chair  

Mary A. Soderberg is the former secretary of the budget appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell and began serving in the position on July 7, 2008. Prior to her appointment as secretary of the budget, Soderberg had served since August 2005 as executive deputy secretary of the budget and chief financial officer of the commonwealth. Before joining the budget office, Soderberg was vice chancellor for finance and administration of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education for two years. Soderberg also served as the executive director of the House Democratic Appropriations Committee from 1992 to 2003.

Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro – Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Vice Chair

Josh Shapiro was elected Montgomery County Commissioner in 2011 and was elected unanimously to Chair the three-member Board on January 3, 2012. As the Commission Chairman, Josh helped lead a dramatic turnaround in Montgomery County by eliminating a large budget deficit, reducing overall debt, and replenishing the County reserve fund. Prior to his election in Montgomery County, Shapiro represented the 153rd Legislative District in the state House for seven years. Before serving in the state legislature, Josh served as a Congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. where at age 25 he became, at the time, the youngest person on Capitol Hill to serve as a Congressional Chief of Staff.

5 Responses

  1. Has anyone been elected to handle Pa corrections system. if so, would appreciate a name and some help with pa doc sip program

  2. I is the reel chris the persin who posted sumpin at 1249 pee m is a faker, people are teling me the elcton was rigged and goevenore corbitt won in a land slide just like all the poles said he wood, dis aint over yet,

  3. LOL! Appointing Mary Soderberg to chair a budget deficit task force is like appointing Nick Field to chair a competent journalism task force!

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