Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk and Minnesota Management & Budget Commissioner James Schowalter were recently selected for the prestigious Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by The Council of State Governments. Governor Mark Dayton nominated Cronk and Schowalter for their leadership in state government and work on reform initiatives. Cronk and Schowalter are two out of 48 state leaders from across the nation selected for the program. Both commissioners were selected from many outstanding applicants by a committee of state elected and appointed officials as among the most promising leaders of state government. Most states have one nominee selected, so this is undoubtedly a great honor for the State of Minnesota to have two qualified nominees in the program.
The annual week-long seminar, named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933, seeks to develop the next generation of leaders from all three branches of state government. This year's dynamic program, held in Lexington, Ky., focuses on trends analysis, policy development, and leadership and institutional changes. The experience gives these leaders perspectives they would not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.
As the Commissioner of Administration, Cronk focuses on enhancing inter-agency cooperation and eliminating unnecessary redundancies in order to create a leaner, more cost-effective government that delivers high quality, professional services to citizens. He previously served in the Bloomberg administration as Executive Director of Organizational Development and Senior Advisor for the Department of Small Business Services for the City of New York.
At Minnesota Management and Budget, Commissioner Schowalter focuses on improving the State’s workforce and finances through uncertain times. MMB has played a leadership role in several reforms and is responsible for increasing the state’s capacity to manage resources. He previously served as Deputy Commissioner of MMB, and before that, was the State Budget Director.
Governor Dayton appointed Spencer Cronk as Commissioner of the Department of Administration on February 8, 2011.
Commissioner Cronk grew up in Minnesota and received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program and was a Public Affairs Fellow with the Coro New York Leadership Center.
The Minnesota Department of Administration provides a broad range of business management, administrative and professional services and a variety of resources to state and local government agencies and to the public. In addition to assisting government agencies with strategic planning and organization, the Department of Administration manages over 800 leases and preserves state assets by managing risk.
Governor Dayton appointed Jim Schowalter Commissioner of Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) by Governor Mark Dayton on January 3, 2011. Previously, he served as Deputy Commissioner of MMB, and has served over 17 years in the Minnesota State Government.
Commissioner Schowalter received his Master's degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his Bachelor's degree with a major in economics from Macalester College. Schowalter originally hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.