Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Dan Hynes, Christian Mitchell, Jesse Ruiz will serve as deputy governors in Pritzker administration
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Dan Hynes, Christian Mitchell, Jesse Ruiz will serve as deputy governors in Pritzker administration

Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Governor-elect JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton made the following personnel announcements for their incoming administration:

Dan Hynes will serve as Deputy Governor. Hynes currently serves as a senior adviser to the transition committee and as a senior executive at UBS Asset Management in Chicago, following a distinguished 12-year career in public service as the Comptroller for the State of Illinois. Hynes was elected Comptroller in 1998 as the youngest state constitutional officer since World War II. He was re-elected in 2002 and 2006 by wide margins. In 2011, President Barack Obama named Hynes as the United States Observer to the International Fund for Ireland, which makes investments in Northern Ireland for the purpose of promoting peace and stability in the region. Hynes also serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee. He received his Juris Doctor from the Loyola University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Christian Mitchell will serve as Deputy Governor. Mitchell currently serves as a senior adviser to the transition committee, state representative of the 26th District, and executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Mitchell began his career as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago before entering politics. He served as a deputy field director on Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s re-election campaign and was Midwest Paid Media and Polling Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. He has consulted for state assembly, city council, and congressional races across the country and was a senior adviser to U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s successful 2016 race. Before being elected to office, Mitchell also served on the senior staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Chicago and is pursuing a Juris Doctor from the Loyola University School of Law.

Jesse Ruiz will serve as Deputy Governor. Ruiz currently serves as counsel to the transition committee and is a partner in the Corporate & Securities Group of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Throughout his career, Jesse has also dedicated time to public service. He currently serves as the President of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners and as a Commissioner on the Public Building Commission. He has also served as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education, Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, Commissioner on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission, Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Character and Fitness Committee, and Commissioner on the Chicago Public Schools Desegregation Monitoring Commission. Jesse received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as an editor of the University of Chicago Law School Roundtable. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nikki Budzinski will serve as Senior Adviser. Budzinski currently serves as transition director and previously served as senior adviser to the JB Pritzker for Governor campaign. Budzinski led JB Pritzker’s exploratory effort for Governor and advised the campaign on political strategy, messaging, and outreach. From 2015 to 2016, she served as the labor campaign director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Previously, Budzinski worked in the labor movement for ten years in Washington, D.C., working for the Laborers International Union of North America, International Association of Fire Fighters, and United Food and Commercial Workers Unions. From 1999 to 2004, Budzinski served numerous roles in the Office of the Comptroller in Springfield. Budzinski is a Peoria native and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alexis Sturm will serve as Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). Sturm has over 20 years of experience in Springfield working on state fiscal policy, debt management, and administration. She currently serves as the director of cash management and bond reporting for Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza. Sturm previously served in the administrations of three Republican governors and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. From 2015 to 2017, she served as chief of staff and deputy director for debt, capital, and revenue in Gov. Rauner’s GOMB. From 2004 to 2015, Sturm served as director of research and fiscal reporting and senior fiscal advisor for Comptrollers Hynes, Topinka and Munger. Under three governors’ administrations from 1997 to 2004, she worked in senior roles in debt management, revenue and economic analysis after beginning her state government career as a Dunn Fellow in 1997. She grew up in Carbondale, received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Miami University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Erin Guthrie will serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Guthrie currently serves as the regional general manager for Uber Midwest in Chicago where she partners with cities and regulators to create safe, positive experiences for customers and residents. From 2013 to 2017, she was a client engagement manager and partnership portfolio manager at McKinsey and Company in Chicago. Previously, Guthrie worked as a product manager (MBA intern) at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, as an account executive at 4INFO and as a business development manager at Nokia in San Francisco. She received her MBA from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Stanford University. Erin lives in Wicker Park with her husband and son.

Additional personnel announcements will be made on a rolling basis.

Budzinski is tops in my book and she’s doing a good job on the transition. Sturm’s experience should serve her well at GOMB. I don’t know much about Guthrie.

Your thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** From Tim Nuding, who ran the Senate Republican appropriations staff, was chief of staff to the Senate Republican Leader and then was director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget…


Just wanted to weigh in on Alexis Sturm since I worked with her. She’s fantastic. One of the best and brightest people I’ve ever worked with. Great pick by JB.

…Adding… I think they did good…

I’m told she was also one of Steve Schnorf’s favorites.


  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    Looks like he is already assembling the group to help him run for President.

  2. - Linus - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 1:58 pm:

    I certainly have no gripes with these initial choices, and view Hynes, Mitchell and Ruiz as pretty solid guys. But I also hope to see more geographic diversity in JB’s upcoming admin pics.

  3. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    I wonder if each will get certain issue areas?

  4. - The Machine - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:18 pm:

    Sturm is top notch. Both as a person and in any fiscal matter.

  5. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    Alexis Sturm is about as solid a choice as there is. No one is stronger on budget issues in the state.

  6. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Great to see Hynes back in government. Overall, a good start by Pritzker.

  7. - Take it easy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    @Linus - A third of his appointments are from downstate already, it’s a good start with more to come I’m sure.

  8. - City Kitty - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:25 pm:

    Dan Hynes is smart, competent, has an abundance of integrity, and seasoned hand in state government. Huge get for JB. Budzinksi also a star, Ruiz is a win, and hear very good things about Guthrie - the kind of person you want to recruit into govt. service. A+ group here for JB.

  9. - Roman - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    All very solid appointments of capable folks who know Illinois politics and (unlike the Rauner crew) understand how to pass a bill or budget through the legislature.

    But three deputy governors? Too many chefs in the kitchen?

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===Too many chefs===

    I believe they will have their own areas of focus.

  11. - Linus - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    Take it easy, 2:24pm - I should have added, I also *expect* to see more appts from outside Chicago, if the composition of the transition committees were any indication of the approach.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    As with any incoming administration, congratulations to these new appointees, I hope they succeed and help the governor with the policies the administration will advocate and fight for, and work with the legislature to get consensus beyond a single branch of government.

    Solid choices, well done.

  13. - walker - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Naming Guthrie as DCEO head right now is a good sign.

    It signals that economic development is high priority for JB, and will include focus on innovative, 21st Century business opportunities.

  14. - Larry the Lyft Lawyer - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Booo!!! Just joking. Guthrie is a fantastic choice to bring some much needed spark and innovation to Springfield.

  15. - texpat - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Guthrie is a natural choice for head of DCEO. She has experience working at world-class companies and will bring a wonderful balance of forward-thinking strategies as well as insightful reform to the team. Great find.

  16. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:16 pm:

    Short memories- Jessie Ruiz was vice chair at CPS and approved all those deals which resulted in folks going to the slammer. Then again maybe lightening will strike twice

  17. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    Anonymous- think we need another billionaire in the WH do you?

  18. - Smart pick - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Jesse Ruiz is a solid/smart choice. He is by far one of the most respected attorneys in Chicago. Glad to see the Latino community represented.

  19. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    A great group of top quality people - Jesse, Dan and Nikki are the best.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    Competent, bipartisan appointees. This transition is the most promising development in state government this century.

  21. - don the legend - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    Sue, JB would start about four bankruptcies behind the Trumpster

  22. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    We had to wait four terrible years, but it looks like Governor Rauner finally helped us get the All Stars we were promised.

  23. - Molly Maguire - Thursday, Dec 20, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    Hines is not a liberal/progressive, so that will be interesting to see his portfolio, and how it sits with the labor/left wing that backed Pritzker

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