DEARBORN — Mayor-elect Abdullah Hammoud, the city’s first Arab American mayor, has assembled his transition team.
Health care expert Marianne Udow-Phillips will serve as the transition director and will oversee a transition team comprised of eight individuals representing a cross section of business, civic, education, labor and philanthropic organizations.
“There’s a lot of excitement around the city, but the challenges that Dearborn faces are not going to wait as a new administration settles in,” Hammoud said. “We’re already getting to work charting our course so we’re ready in January. This impressive group of individuals will help ensure we are taking the right steps and building the city government to best serve Dearborn residents.”
Udow-Phillips, well known for her leadership in health care, is the principal of MuConsulting, senior advisor to the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan and serves on faculty at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Ford Public Policy School.
We have passionate, talented residents with an entrepreneurial spirit. We have committed hometown businesses. We have great schools and dedicated educators. We have a beautiful mix of cultures and diversity. Dearborn is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger, fully united and more resilient. We can accomplish this together. Let’s make this transition side by side, as one Dearborn. — Mayor-elect Abdullah Hammoud
The eight people who will make up the transition team are Salah Ali, Eman Ali-Ahmed, Zenna F. Elhasan, Stephanie Fries, Russell A. Kavalhuna, Jaqueline Nash, Bernie Ricke and Assad Turfe.
Ali serves on the board of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund to help fight for fair and equitable policies that creates, restores and protects Michigan’s air, land and water.
Ali-Ahmed is the principal of Salina Intermediate School, with more than two decades of experience and is a board member of the Dearborn Education Foundation, which works to help students reach their full potential.
Elhasan is the general counsel at the Kresge Foundation and serves as secretary for the foundation’s board of trustees.
Fries is the assistant regional manager with Ford Motor Company’s Government Relations team, supporting the development and implementation of Ford’s policy and political priorities in Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.
Kavalhuna is the sixth president of Henry Ford College, a post he has held since 2018.
Nash is the director of patient affairs at Beaumont Dearborn and is responsible for the daily operations of all patient access functions.
Ricke has been the president of UAW Local 600 since 2009, representing more than 30,000 active and retired members.
Turfe is the chief of staff for Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans’ Office.
The transition team will help advise the mayor-elect on key issues facing the city and help vet key staffing decisions, provide input on policy development and identify action items that ensure the new administration transitions smoothly into office in January and beyond.
“I’m honored to work with such an accomplished group of individuals as the mayor-elect leads Dearborn into a new era,” Udow-Phillips said. “Surrounding yourself with a diverse set of strategic minds and voices is a mark of good leadership and I look forward to helping this group inform the mayor-elect’s transition.”
“Dearborn, we did it,” Hammoud said in a video posted to his Facebook page. “We won. In a historic fashion. I am honored to be your mayor-elect and humbled by the overwhelming support I have received over the past few days. While there is much to celebrate, the hard work begins now. Throughout the campaign, we heard you loud and clear. You want accountability, transparency and innovative solutions. You want bold leadership and a resourceful city government that matches your passion for the city. That’s the type of change we can, and will, deliver. We are already working to assemble the talented transition team needed to deliver the city government Dearborn deserves. Our transition team website is live at www.dearborntransition.com and provides news about how we are building the administration. And it also allows you to have a voice as we work to reinvest and re-energize our city government. We are seeking the best and brightest. We are seeking voices from every corner of our city.”
Hammoud also encouraged anyone interested in serving the community with his team to visit the website as well.
“Dearborn has everything we need to prosper,” he said. “We have passionate, talented residents with an entrepreneurial spirit. We have committed hometown businesses. We have great schools and dedicated educators. We have a beautiful mix of cultures and diversity. Dearborn is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger, fully united and more resilient. We can accomplish this together. Let’s make this transition side by side, as one Dearborn.”
Anyone interested in working on the team is encouraged to visit www.dearborntransition.com/careers.