Gov.-elect Brad Little continues the transition process by hiring leaders for state departments and agencies, and also for his office staff.

Dave Jeppesen was selected as director of the Department of Health & Welfare. Jeppesen worked as Executive Vice President Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at Blue Cross of Idaho and as Chief Marketing Officer for Barclays Bank’s United Kingdom Retail Bank prior to his appointment. Jeppesen attended Idaho State University before receiving his master’s degree from Ohio State University. 

Dr. David McClusky will become Chairman of Board for the Department of Corrections. He is a Twin Falls native and University of Idaho graduate. McClusky received his medical degree at Northwestern University.

John Tippets is named director of the Department of Environmental Quality. Tippets served in both the Idaho House of Representatives and the Idaho State Senate. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and has a master’s degree from Utah State University.

Gary Spackman is selected as director of the Department of Water Resources. Spackman was previously administrator of the department’s Water Management Division, manager of the agency’s Western Regional Office, and a hearing officer on contested water rights cases. He is a Utah State University graduate and holds a law degree from Brigham Young University.

John Chatburn is named administrator of the Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR). Chatburn served as Interim Administrator and Program Services Manager for OEMR before being appointed as administrator. He is a graduate of Boise State University.

Dr. Angela Hemingway is selected as executive director of the STEM Action Center.  She served in the State Department of Education as Assessment and Accountability Director. Hemingway received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University.

Wendi Secrist is appointed as executive director of the Workforce Development Council.  Secrist has worked as the director of the Business Outreach & Idaho SkillStack program at the Idaho Division of Career-Technical Education. She is an Oregon State University graduate.

Monty Prow will be director of the Department of Juvenile Corrections. Prow has worked in different capacities for the Department of Juvenile Corrections since 2002. He is a Boise State University graduate.

Zach Forster has been named special assistant for appointments. Forster has worked as a staff member on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Washington D.C since 2017.  He is a Boise State University graduate.

Kristyn Escalante will serve as scheduler. Escalante received her undergraduate degree from Boise State University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho College of Law. Escalante worked as an Associate Attorney at Risch Pisca, PLLC, prior to joining the Little staff.

Louis Hougaard will be policy advisor. Hougaard is a Boise State University graduate who has worked in the US Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia and for the US Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ann DeAngeli is named special assistant to the First Lady. A Boise native, DeAngeli graduated from Boise State University and has worked for Little in various capacities beginning as a Senate Attaché in 2006.

Jennifer O’Kief will be executive assistant. She has served as the assistant to the lieutenant governor for Little since 2009. O’Kief is a Boise State University graduate.

Claudia Simplot Nally will fill the role of executive assistant. Simplot Nally has worked in the office of the governor for 23 years, serving as special sssistant to the governor for governors Phil Batt, Dirk Kempthorne, Jim Risch and C.L. “Butch” Otter.

After many years of public service, Debbie Field has announced her retirement from the Board of Corrections. Field was appointed to the board in 2015. She served in the Idaho House of Representatives for 12 years, representing Boise’s District 18.  

“I want to thank Debbie for her service to the State of Idaho,” Little said. “Her years of dedicated service helped ensure improvements to Idaho’s corrections system, especially in the areas of drug and mental health courts. She has been an outstanding and dedicated servant to the betterment of the State of Idaho.”  

For information about the transition visit