Press Release - Friday, January 06, 2023
Governor Pritzker Announces Second Term Agency Transitions
Springfield—As Governor Pritzker concludes his first term in office and approaches his second inauguration, the administration announced the following personnel transitions at Illinois state agencies:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan will step down from her position on January 16th. Since beginning her term in 2019, Director Callahan has guided the department through the formation of a new strategic plan focused on protecting Illinois's natural resources and reducing the impact of climate change. Callahan also advocated for IDNR's largest budget in decades to fund repairs and updates at state sites and led the successful re-brand of invasive carp to Copi. Prior to her appointment to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Callahan served as state director of Illinois' Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and worked for over 30 years in agriculture communications for WMBD Radio in Peoria.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Sylvia Garcia will step down from her position on January 16th. Appointed in 2021, Director Garcia has led DCEO through key COVID-19 revitalization and rebuilding efforts, including supporting thousands of businesses and local governments through over $1 billion in economic assistance and the launch of the state's largest ever tourism campaign, "Illinois: The Middle of Everything." Garcia previously served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the Chicago Transit Authority and as Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Obama Administration.
CMS Director Anthony Pascente will step down from his position on January 20th. Pascente, who previously served as CMS Chief of Staff, was appointed by Governor Pritzker in 2022. Pascente was instrumental in the historic sale of the James R. Thompson Center and the purchase of the new state government Chicago offices at 555 W Monroe Street and 115 S. LaSalle, as well as in guiding remote work and return to workplace initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his time at CMS, Pascente served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago in the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Secretary Jennifer Ricker will step down from her position at the end of the term. Ricker was appointed Secretary after previously serving as Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary at DoIT. During her tenure, Ricker led DoIT's efforts in expanding remote work capabilities for the state workforce and implementing pandemic-related systems and enhancements to facilitate virtual state services for residents. Prior to working at DoIT, Ricker served as chief of staff for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
The administration looks forward to announcing additional appointments in the coming weeks.