Press release: Little hires new administration leaders as transition continues

Gov.-elect Brad Little has hired staff members for his office, and also key cabinet positions.  

Sam Eaton has been named Director of Policy and Counsel. Eaton will focus on natural resource policy. Under Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Eaton served as Legal Counsel. Prior to earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Idaho College Of Law, Eaton received his undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University.

Sara Stover will be Senior Policy Advisor with a focus on healthcare. Stover has worked for the Idaho executive branch since 2001, in roles at the Division of Financial Management (DFM) and as Health and Human Services Policy Assistant and Advisor under Governors Dirk Kempthorne and Jim Risch, respectively. She is originally from Pocatello.

Greg Wilson will fill the role of Senior Policy Advisor with a focus on education. Wilson is currently the Chief of Staff in the Lt. Governor’s Office. Wilson is a graduate of Gonzaga University and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

Nate Fisher Jr. has been hired as Special Assistant, Intergovernmental Affairs. Fisher was the North Idaho Field Director for the Brad Little for Governor campaign. A Boise native, Fisher is a graduate of the University of Idaho where he was Student Body President during the 2014-15 school year.

Kelley Packer will lead as Bureau Chief of the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensure. Packer is a former Idaho State Representative from McCammon. 

Tom Kealey will be the new Director of the Department of Commerce. Kealey is a co-owner of the restaurant chain Chicago Connection and a former executive at Morrison-Knudsen. 

Bryan Mooney is selected as Director of the Department of Administration. Former Vice President of Operations at MWI Veterinary Supply, Mooney has more than 25 years of experience successfully leading teams at the largest animal health distributor in the world.  

Jani Revier will fill the position of Director of the Department of Labor. Revier has served as the Administrator of the Division of Financial Management since 2013. 

Melinda Smyser is selected as the Administrator of the Office of Drug Policy. Smyser currently serves as the Director of the Department of Labor. She represented Canyon and Gem counties in the Idaho Senate from 2009 through 2012. 

Susan Buxton will serve as Administrator of the Idaho Division of Human Resources and provides important human resource support for the transition.

Idaho Army National Guard Brigadier General Michael J. Garshak accepted the position as Idaho’s Adjutant General, the commanding officer of the Idaho National Guard. In this position, he will lead the Idaho Army and Air National Guard while overseeing the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. 

Col. Kedrick Wills will be appointed as Director of the Idaho State Police. Wills started as a patrol officer in Glenns Ferry then worked in Nampa before becoming an ISP trooper in 1996. 

Jeffery Weak will serve as Idaho’s Administrator of Information Technology Services, the Governor’s key technology, data security, and cybersecurity officer. 

 “I trust these new hires to assist me in creating practical policies that will benefit Idahoans for generations to come,” Little said. “Our state’s residents deserve great jobs with higher incomes, world class schools, affordable healthcare, abundant clean water and access to the outdoor recreation that makes Idaho unique. Every person selected to join my team is dedicated to making these goals a reality.”

Little also said: “We have taken the honor of filling these positions very seriously and ensuring we have the right person to lead these agencies and departments. These men and women are dedicated and valuable public servants. There are more positions to fill as we near the end of this year and we will continue to seek applicants who share my vision to create the best possible atmosphere for Idaho kids to thrive here and allow those who have left to return.”  

For more information about the transition visit govelect.idaho.gov.