* Press release…
Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today that Rodger Heaton will become his chief of staff effective Monday, Oct. 9. Heaton, a former U.S. Attorney and most recently the director of Public Safety and chairman of the Statewide Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, succeeds Kristina Rasmussen, who will remain on staff until Friday, Oct. 13, to help ensure a smooth transition.
Heaton has served as public safety director and the governor’s Homeland Security adviser since January 2015. In these roles, he has worked extensively with members from all three branches of Illinois state government and is familiar with the workings of the Office of the Governor and the priorities that the governor has established.
“I’m excited to promote Rodger to be our team leader,” Rauner said. “His combination of legal, legislative and policy experience will help us build on the significant improvements that Kristina accomplished in a very compressed and challenging time.”
Heaton has had a 30-year career in law, litigation, law enforcement and policy. From 2005 to 2009, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, the chief federal law enforcement official for 46 counties. He also served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a body that advises the Attorney General on all policy matters related to the justice system.
The governor lauded the work of outgoing Chief of Staff Kristina Rasmussen, who is leaving the administration to pursue other interests.
“I brought Kristina on last summer because of her reputation as a foremost policy leader and organizational innovator,” the governor said. “I asked her to reinvigorate our staff and advance our goals in improving education, growing jobs, and protecting taxpayers … and she delivered on all fronts.
“Kristina built and organized a team that is enhancing our executive operations, making them more focused, more effective and better prepared to win a growth agenda for Illinois,” Rauner said. “I know she will be a great success in any endeavor she chooses in the future.”