Polis turning to familiar faces
Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis is tapping several top John Hickenlooper advisers and staffers from his congressional office — and even one of his primary opponents — to fill several key administration positions.
Polis’ transition team announced these senior staff hires Thursday afternoon:
• Eve Lieberman, chief policy adviser and legislative counsel. She’s currently chief of staff to Polis’ 2nd District congressional office.
• Jacki Cooper Melmed, chief legal counsel. She has held that job in the Hickenlooper administration since 2015.
• Lauren Larson, director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Hickenlooper hired her for the same position in July.
• Cary Kennedy, senior adviser for fiscal policy. She is the former state treasurer and CFO of the city of Denver. Kennedy also ran for governor in the Democratic primary but subsequently campaigned for Polis.
• David Oppenheim, legislative director. He was most recently state director of State Innovation Exchange.
• Wade Buchanan, policy director. He held the same title under Gov. Roy Romer and also was Gov. Hickenlooper’s senior adviser on aging.
• Maria De Cambra, director of communications and community engagement. She is managing director at the Campaign for a Strong Colorado.
• Danielle Oliveto, deputy chief of staff. She’s a former congressional and campaign staffer for Polis.
• Kate Siegel Shimko, director of boards and commissions. She was Congressman Polis’ national finance director.
The incoming governor’s transition team is continuing to fill Cabinet positions, reviewing more than 700 applications.