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On this page you will find the latest press releases and statements from the Office of Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan.

Walz, Flanagan Thank Cabinet for Service to Minnesota

Governor and Lieutenant Governor make reappointments, open selection process for cabinet vacancies

11/16/2022 7:08:19 PM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced cabinet vacancies and reappointments for their second term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor thanked the entire Walz-Flanagan cabinet for their dedication and contribution to the lives of Minnesotans over the past four years.

“I’m grateful to our entire cabinet for their years of service to Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “Together, we made historic investments in education, achieved the lowest unemployment rate of any state in history, and protected the health and safety of Minnesotans. I look forward to building the team that will help us kick off our second term.”

“Minnesotans were well-served by this cabinet during our first term,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Whether increasing access to child care, investing in housing access, or facing a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, these cabinet leaders have performed incredibly in the spirit of One Minnesota.”

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan thanked the following cabinet members for their exceptional service and wish them well after their years of leadership:

Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm , who has spent her career serving Minnesotans, has chosen not to seek reappointment in Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s second term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are grateful for Malcolm’s steadfast leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic and appreciate the work she has done to build equity into Minnesota’s public health systems. Malcolm helped Minnesota lead the nation with COVID vaccine and testing policies and led an effort to modernize and expand the system for overseeing long-term care facilities. Malcolm served as Commissioner of Health from 1999 to 2003, was appointed again by Governor Mark Dayton in January 2018, and was then reappointed by Governor Walz in 2019.

“Working with Governor Walz and his team to help Minnesota navigate the COVID-19 pandemic was the most challenging and meaningful work I’ve done in my career, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “Public health at its best has the power to save lives and lift up communities, and this isn’t the work of any one person or any one organization. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands of unsung public health heroes in federal, state, and local health departments who are building a better, healthier future for their neighbors and their communities. I am so proud to have done this work with my colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Health and our local public health partners, as well as our health care systems and community organizations, over the course of my career. I know they will continue the vital work of protecting, maintaining, and improving the health of all Minnesotans.”

Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington has chosen not to seek reappointment in Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s second term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor celebrate Harrington’s nearly 45-years in government service – 35 years in law enforcement – and thank him for his tireless work to protect the health and safety of people across Minnesota. Harrington served the state through historic times, including the murder of George Floyd, oversaw significant police reform initiatives, and problem-solved to help local governments across the state protect public safety. Harrington led DPS to recognize cancer as a potential cause of death in the line of duty for emergency responders, worked with public service and community groups to hand out more than 30,000 gun locks, and addressed challenges with the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System to more seamlessly modernize license and vehicle registration, including self-service options for Minnesotans. Harrington was appointed by Governor Walz in January 2019.

“I thank Governor Walz for giving me the opportunity to serve as the 14th Commissioner of Public Safety and the opportunity to not only to be his public safety and homeland security policy advisor, but to also be the leader of this magnificent department,” said Commissioner Harrington. “I also thank all the members of the department – whether they work in victims’ services, emergency service, law enforcement, or Driver and Vehicle Services, they are the true backbone of the department that allows all the work to be done.”

Commissioner of Education Dr. Heather Mueller has chosen not to seek reappointment in Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s second term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor are grateful for Dr. Mueller’s continued focus on helping all Minnesota students have access to a world-class education. Dr. Mueller built systems and structures alongside school leaders to create continuity of learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked tirelessly to prioritize the health and well-being of students, staff, and families by providing COVID testing for schools and vaccinations for educators to get kids back into their classroom. Dr. Mueller also created the Due North Education Plan, and she helped pass a historic education budget that ensured students were seen, valued, and heard in their learning. Dr. Mueller started her career at Mankato Area Public Schools as a social studies teacher, and has served as MDE’s senior director of teaching and learning, assistant commissioner, and deputy commissioner.

“I am honored and humbled to have been asked to serve alongside the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, particularly in such a tumultuous time for our public schools. From launching Due North to passing historic investments in public education, to helping our schools navigate a global pandemic, I’m grateful for it all and proud of the work we did together,” said Commissioner Mueller. “As this term comes to an end, I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for me to close this chapter of my life.”

Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Mark Phillips has chosen not to seek reappointment in Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan’s second term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor appreciate Phillips’ decades of service to Minnesotans and wish him well in his retirement. Phillips led IRRR as commissioner under Governor Mark Dayton and Governor Walz, and has more than 35 years of leadership in business, community, and workforce development. Improving the quality of life – for both residents and visitors – is at the forefront of his approach to economic development in northeastern Minnesota.

“It has been my privilege and honor to serve northeastern Minnesota as a representative of the Walz-Flanagan Administration,” said Commissioner Phillips. “Whether expanding child care, increasing broadband access, improving downtowns, strengthening education, or enhancing outdoor recreation, I’m proud of the work we’ve done to make the region stronger and better positioned for the future.”

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan also announced the following reappointments:

  • Commissioner of Administration Alice Roberts-Davis
  • Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen
  • Commissioner of Commerce Grace Arnold
  • Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell
  • Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development Steve Grove
  • Commissioner of Higher Education Dennis Olson
  • Commissioner of Housing Jennifer Leimaile Ho
  • Commissioner of Human Rights Rebecca Lucero
  • Commissioner of Human Services Jodi Harpstead
  • Commissioner of Management and Budget Jim Schowalter
  • Commissioner of Information Technology Services Tarek Tomes
  • Commissioner of Mediation Services Johnny Villarreal
  • Commissioner of Natural Resources Sarah Strommen
  • Commissioner of Pollution Control Katrina Kessler
  • Commissioner of Transportation Nancy Daubenberger
  • Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Larry Herke

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan opened the application process to fill vacancies for the leaders of the following cabinet agencies:

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health
  • Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation
  • Department of Labor and Industry
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Department of Revenue

Individuals wishing to apply for positions in the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s cabinet can contact gov.appointments@state.mn.us to request an application. Application materials are due by 4:00 pm on November 30, and should be addressed to Governor Tim Walz. Applicants may contact gov.appointments@state.mn.us or (651) 201-3400 with questions about the application process or to request reasonable accommodations.

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