LANSING— Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson has announced her transition committee, which will guide her preparation to assume the role of Michigan’s chief motor vehicle administrator and chief election officer, on January 1.
“I am honored that two leaders and mentors I respect and admire, Senator Levin and Commissioner Tagliabue, will lead our transition,” Benson said. “Their integrity and commitment to excellence are unrivaled. They will lead a team of advisors who will help bring the best ideas, practices and talent to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office as we begin work on implementing the priorities voters supported on November 6.”
Benson’s transition team includes:
Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), who is currently senior counsel at the Honigman law firm in Detroit. Levin, who will be a co-chair of the transition team, served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. He has extensive experience in local, national and international matters and a practice that focuses on strategic, regulatory and public policy issues.
Paul Tagliabue, the other co-chair, is a former commissioner of the National Football League and senior counsel with the Covington and Burling law firm in Washington, D.C. He advises major businesses and nonprofits on matters of public policy, organizational structure and governance and strategic risk mitigation approaches.
Dennis Archer, Jr., CEO of Ignition Media Group, a leading integrated marketing agency that specializes in experiential marketing, public relations, event production and brand strategy for many clients, including General Motors and Bacardi North America.
Bishop P.A. Brooks, first assistant presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. Bishop Brooks is an internationally-recognized religious and civic leader who has been the jurisdictional prelate of the First Jurisdiction of Michigan since 1975, overseeing more than 96 churches.
Cindy Pasky, founder, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, which counts more than $300 million in sales annually, an additional $85 million in managed services and more than 20 years of consistent growth and profitability. The company’s benchmarks are based on creating jobs, offering people an opportunity to succeed and serving the community.
Fayrouz Saad, the first director of Detroit’s Office of Immigrant Affairs under Mayor Mike Duggan. Before working for the Duggan administration, Saad worked in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and focused on immigration reform, security issues and economic development programs in the Middle East.
Chris Thomas, former director of elections in the Michigan Department of State. Thomas is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Election Data and Science Lab and the U.S. Vote Foundation. In 2013 he was appointed to serve on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.
Kim Trent, a statewide elected member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors and policy associate for Michigan Future Inc. MFI is an Ann Arbor-based think-tank focused on strategies to prepare Michiganders for the knowledge-based economy.
Elizabeth Welch, principal of Grand Rapids-based Welch Law, where she practices exclusively in the area of labor and employment law and all aspects of employment law on the local, state and federal levels. She is former chair of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.
Benson will appoint several advisory committees to assist with her transition and her administration once in office. Those committees will focus on election security, election reform, redistricting, customer service, licensing and I.D. services and campaign finance and transparency reforms.
Benson selected Liz Boyd to serve as director of the transition and Farough and Associates to staff her transition team. Boyd served as a senior advisor in the administrations of Michigan Secretaries of State Richard H. Austin and Candice S. Miller and as press secretary to Governor Granholm. Farough and Associates of Brighton is led by Dan Farough, who has served as a senior advisor to Michigan’s U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.
Among Benson’s priorities are a 30-minute guarantee for service, secure elections, protecting voting rights and transparency in government.
Benson will be sworn into office on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.