Our goal is to build a Wisconsin where people come together to invest in a brighter future for everyone. That starts with a Cabinet that represents Wisconsin values.
The broad depth of experience our cabinet brings to our state will ensure that we bring science back to the Department of Natural Resources; that we can reform our criminal justice system and address racial disparities while improving public safety; that we can highlight for the world all that Wisconsin has to offer; and that we do it all by running an efficient, effective government that is focused on bipartisan solutions, not political fights.
Department of Administration
Secretary Joel Brennan
Joel Brennan most recently served as the CEO of Discovery World since 2007. Prior to that role, he was the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Milwaukee and the Vice President of the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mr. Brennan also spent time working at Miller Brewing after beginning his career as a legislative assistant to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett when Mayor Barrett served in Congress. Mr. Brennan received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and his Master's from the University of Chicago.
Department of Corrections
Secretary Kevin Carr
Kevin Carr most recently served as a U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Mr. Carr has a 39-year law enforcement background, including 30 years with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. He served four years in Internal Affairs and led a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Gang Task Force for two years. He received his undergraduate degree from Concordia University and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Department of Health Services
Secretary-designee Andrea Palm
Andrea Palm most recently served as senior counselor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama where she oversaw the agenda for the public health and human services agencies, encompassing more than 60,000 staff. Her executive career spans more than two decades, with key leadership positions for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Senator Hillary Clinton, and Congressman Robert Matsui. She was a senior advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council during the implementation and rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Palm received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a graduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Public Service Commission
Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq
Rebecca Cameron Valcq was appointed by Gov. Evers as Commissioner at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for a six-year term beginning on January 7, 2019. Gov. Evers also appointed her as Commission Chairperson for a two-year term effective March 2, 2019. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Valcq was a partner at Quarles & Brady in the energy, environment and natural resources practice group. Previous to that position she was regulatory counsel for Wisconsin Electric Power Company where she advised management on all areas of regulatory law in multiple jurisdictions as well as compliance matters. Ms. Valcq earned her undergraduate degree from Drake University and her law degree from Marquette University. She lives in Whitefish Bay with her husband Rob and two daughters.
Department of Transportation
Secretary-designee Craig Thompson
Craig Thompson was appointed by Gov. Evers to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) beginning in January 2019. Previously Mr. Thompson was the executive director of the Transportation Development Association (TDA) of Wisconsin. He has more than 25 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government. Prior to leading TDA, he served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association, managing legislative initiatives at the state and federal levels. Mr. Thompson is a native of Racine and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Madison with his wife and two teenagers.
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
Executive Director Joaquin Altoro
Governor Tony Evers appointed Mr. Joaquin Altoro as WHEDA's Executive Director effective June 3, 2019. Mr. Altoro has an extensive, 27-year banking career in both residential and commercial lending. Most recently, he served as Town Bank's Vice President of Commercial Banking. At Town Bank, he successfully utilized federal Housing Tax Credits to advance affordable housing options in Southeastern Wisconsin. Mr. Altoro has also served as City Plan Commissioner for the City of Milwaukee, an expert panel speaker for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and a board member for Forward Community Investments. Mr. Altoro has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University.
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
Secretary-designee Randy Romanski
Randy Romanski was announced secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by Governor Tony Evers in June 2020. Prior to this appointment, he served as DATCP deputy secretary since January 2019 and interim secretary since November 2019. Romanski has held leadership roles at multiple state agencies. He previously served as DATCP's deputy secretary and secretary under Governor Jim Doyle and most recently serving as the safety program chief in DOT's Division of State Patrol. He brings decades of experience in government administration and policy development to the department. Originally from Wisconsin Rapids, Romanski earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and his master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Romanski resides in Monona.
Department of Children and Families
Secretary Emilie Amundson
Emilie Amundson served previously as Chief of Staff at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). She also worked as the Director of Literacy and Mathematics and as the English Language Arts Consultant for the DPI. Before that, Amundson was an English educator and school founder in New York City. Amundson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master of Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has completed coursework toward a PhD in literacy studies, with hopes to finish someday. Ms. Amundson is the proud spouse of an art educator and the proud mom of two school-age children.
Department of Financial Institutions
Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld
Prior to her appointment at DFI, Kathy Blumenfeld served as the executive vice president of special operations at TASC. Before joining TASC, she worked for CUNA Mutual Group for twenty-five years, most recently as vice president of lending and payment security. Ms. Blumenfeld also served as a certified public accountant at two large firms and worked for State Senator Joe Strohl. She holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of three books.
Department of Natural Resources
Secretary Preston Cole
Preston Cole most recently served as the Commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services. Mr. Cole drew distinction for becoming the first African-American forester hired by the Conservation Department. Previously, Mr. Cole was the Director of Operations for the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works. In this position he was responsible for 2400 employees, O&M and Enterprise budgets of $300 million and a capital budget of $108 million. Additionally, he previously served as the former Parks Superintendent for the City of St. Louis, as well as a Resource Forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Forest Management.
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
Commissioner Mark Afable
Mark Afable most recently served as the chief legal officer at American Family with corporate legal, government affairs, and compliance and claims legal divisions reporting to him. He joined American Family in 1994 and has served numerous roles in the company. Before joining American Family, Mr. Afable served as counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers and worked for Allstate Insurance in the corporate legal area. He holds a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Marquette University. He and his wife Peggy have four children and live in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Department of Revenue
Secretary Peter Barca
Peter Barca previously served as the state representative for the 64th Assembly District in Wisconsin. A lifelong citizen of Kenosha and Somers, Mr. Barca has previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as the Midwest regional administrator of the Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration. He also served on the WEDC board, where he helped advance several major business developments, including the two new Amazon distribution centers in Kenosha. Mr. Barca received his undergraduate degree from UW-Milwaukee and a graduate degree from UW-Madison.
Department of Safety and Professional Services
Secretary-designee Dawn B. Crim
Dawn B. Crim was appointed by Gov. Evers in January 2019. She also serves as a member of the Edgewood Board of Trustees and Madison Foundation Board of Trustees. She most recently served as Assistant State Superintendent for Student and School Success at the Department of Public Instruction. Ms. Crim has more than 25 years of education experience, coupled with extensive community engagement. Previously, she served as the Associate Dean for External Relations at UW-Madison and President of the Madison Network of Black Professionals. She has been recognized for several awards, most notably the 2017 Penn State University School of Education Leadership and Service Award. Ms. Crim earned an M.Ed. degree in Education Counseling from Penn State University and a B.A. degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Virginia. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at UW-Madison.
Department of Tourism
Secretary-designee Sara Meaney
Sara Meaney most recently served as the Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Milwaukee Film and has served on the Board of Directors for the organization since 2012. Ms. Meaney brings more than 20 years of marketing experience, most recently as managing director at BVK, a full-service, top 25 advertising agency. In early 2009, Meaney launched the strategic communications firm Comet Branding. In 2011, the company merged with Hanson Dodge Creative, where Meaney then served as partner and president. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from UW-Madison.
Department of Veteran Affairs
Secretary Mary M. Kolar
Mary Kolar was most recently a Dane County Supervisor for the first district. She is a retired U.S. Navy Captain who served twenty-eight years on active duty and chaired the Dane County Veterans Service Commission. Kolar also served as the vice president of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation Board of Directors. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and the University of Rhode Island.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Secretary-designee Missy Hughes
Melissa "Missy" Hughes is secretary and CEO of WEDC, Wisconsin's lead economic development organization. Before joining WEDC in October 2019, she was general counsel and chief mission officer at Organic Valley. Her previous positions include associate attorney at the firm of Holland & Hart, where she practiced in the areas of natural resources, construction litigation and corporate business transactions. She served on the boards of the Environmental Working Group and the Organic Trade Association, where she was a three-term board president. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed Hughes to the USDA Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Biotechnology in the 21st Century. Hughes received her bachelor of arts in political science from Georgetown University and juris doctor degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law.
Department of Workforce Development