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Pritzker Administration Announces Inaugural Cohort of the Governor's Office Academy of Leadership (G.O.A.L.)

Press Release - Friday, February 03, 2023

Advancing Excellence in Public Service Leadership

SPRINGFIELD - Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced today the participants of the inaugural cohort of the Governor's Office Academy of Leadership (G.O.A.L.) program. The highly-competitive program was designed to provide a robust professional development opportunity for a population of State mid-level leaders that maintain critical roles in advancing key initiatives and maintaining optimal operations for the State.

"I'm thrilled to announce the inaugural cohort of the Governor's Office Academy of Leadership—a new program to prepare the next generation of state leaders with the skills they need to advance their careers and best serve the people of Illinois," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This 30-person cohort spans agencies and job titles—all uniting under the shared principle of public service and good government doing good work. I'm honored to extend my congratulations to our selected participants—and I look forward to working with you as we create a stronger Illinois."

The G.O.A.L. program was developed for participants to increase leadership skillsets, facilitate social learning, broaden and expand perspectives, and build long-term networks across agencies. Throughout the program, participants will engage in a collaborative learning environment centered on improving leadership effectiveness and discovering ways to better support customer centered government services. The rigorous 10-month program will formally launch in March 2023 and meet twice monthly through virtual and in-person sessions, alternating between Chicago and Springfield.

"We are proud to facilitate the G.O.A.L. program on behalf of the State of Illinois. This program is designed to prioritize developing the next generation of leaders within the State," said Raven A. DeVaughn, Acting Director of CMS. "The foundational principles of the program align with our goals as the operational engine of the State to provide efficient, timely and innovative services to agencies, as well as recruit and retain an inclusive, highly qualified, diverse workforce."

The 30-person cohort was selected from hundreds of applicants by a multi-agency evaluator panel and represent a diverse pool of leaders committed to advancing public service in State Government. The 2023 G.O.A.L. inaugural cohort includes:
  • Hernando Albarracin, Department of Natural Resources
  • Diana Alfaro, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
  • Jonathan Beato, Department of Employment Security
  • Michelle Camp, Department of Children and Family Services
  • Michael Cox, Illinois State Police
  • Michelle Dankoski, Illinois Emergency Management Agency
  • Kirsten Davis-Franklin, Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Office
  • Thomas DeBetta, Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Steve DeYoung, Department of Corrections
  • Sydney Ellison, Office of the Governor
  • Shami Goyal, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
  • Arthur Hawkins, Department of Human Services
  • Rebecca Hooks, Illinois State Police
  • Eric Huber, Department of Revenue
  • Christa Jones, Department of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Carolynne Jorgenson, Department of Human Services
  • David Lakeman, Department of Agriculture
  • George Letavish, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Dominic Meneghetti, Department of Transportation
  • Patrick Nolan, Department of Central Management Services
  • Ashley Oglesby, Illinois State Police
  • Ayesha Patel, Department of Central Management Services
  • Mohammed Rahman, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Alicia Robinson, Department of Human Services
  • Anita Rumage, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Kristina Shelton, Department of Corrections
  • Mark Stevens, Department of Public Health
  • Shelly Tweedy, Department of Central Management Services
  • Carey Vaughn, Governor's Office of Management and Budget
  • Tiffany Weisner, Department of Central Management Services
To read more about G.O.A.L., visit

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