Scott announces two cabinet posts, staff positions

MONTPELIER — Gov.-elect Phil Scott announced two major appointments to his cabinet Tuesday, naming current Deputy Attorney General Susanne Young as his secretary of the Agency of Administration and Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Al Gobeille as secretary of the Agency of Human Services.

Scott, a Republican who defeated Democrat Sue Minter last month to become the state’s 82nd governor, announced the two cabinet-level appointments along with a trio of staff who will work in the governor’s office when Scott is sworn in early next month in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

“Susanne and Al are both accomplished and highly respected leaders who share my focus on making Vermont’s economy stronger and our state more affordable for businesses and families,” Scott said in a statement. “Together, they will be a strong and dynamic team, working together to modernize state government, put our state budget on a more sustainable path and move our healthcare priorities forward.”

Al Gobeille, right, discusses the all-payer model. (File photo)

VPB

Al Gobeille, right, discusses the all-payer model. (File photo)

Young, 60, will become, will become one of the most influential people in state government. The Agency of Administration oversees most aspects of state government, including development of the state budget. The secretary typically serves as a key advisor to the governor.

Young, a graduate of the University of Vermont and Vermont Law School, has served as a deputy attorney general under Democratic Attorney General William Sorrell since November 2012. Prior to that, she served as former Gov. Jim Douglas’ legal counsel from 2003 to 2011. She was also deputy treasurer when Douglas was treasurer from 1999 to 2003. Young was an assistant attorney general from 1982 to 1999, during which she was chief of the criminal division, director of the Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit, director of the Civil Litigation Unit and interim deputy attorney general.

Meanwhile, Gobeille, 52, who worked with the administration of outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin to negotiate a deal with the federal government to reform the state’s health care payment system, will take over AHS. As GMCB chairman, Gobeille has also worked to slow the growth rate of health care spending in Vermont by regulating hospital budgets and insurance races. The agency, the largest in state government, oversees the state’s health care programs, various social welfare programs and public health systems.

Gobeille, along with his wife, own Gobeille Hospitality, a Burlington-based company that includes four entities — Shanty on the Shore, Burlington Bay Market and Café, Breakwater Café and Grill and Northern Lights Cruises. He is a graduate of Norwich University and served as an officer in the United States Army.

In addition to the cabinet postings, Scott announced three more staffers that will work with him on the fifth floor of the Pavilion Building.

Rebecca Kelley, 34, will be the Scott administration’s director of communications. Kelley has more than 10 year’s experience in communications and public relations, according to the Scott transition team. Kelley is a Vermont native who will be moving back for the position.

John Quinn, 37, has been appointed as the chief innovation officer. Quinn, who was an active supporter of Scott on Twitter during the campaign, “specializes in IT planning, project management, operations and management” according to the transition team. He is a former member of the Northfield Select Board and has served in various state government jobs.

Finally, 41-year-old Tayt Brooks was appointed as director of affordability and economic growth initiatives. Brooks is a former commissioner of the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development. He also worked for give years as the director of government affairs for the Homebuilders and Remodels Association of Vermont and has run his own company, Brooks Strategies, for the last five years. He worked on Scott’s campaign as the director of data acquisition and management.

neal.goswami@timesargus.com

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