Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera Announce Majority of Senior Staff to Return as Second Term for Administration Begins

Friday, December 16, 2022

DENVER -  This November, Coloradans overwhelmingly re-elected Governor Jared Polis and Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera to a second term and today the Governor announced that the majority of the gubernatorial senior staff will return as the administration enters a new term in 2023. 

“We are hopeful and optimistic about Colorado’s future and I am thrilled that the vast majority of our senior staff are returning to help build upon our efforts to ensure Colorado remains the best place to live, work and raise a family,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’ve traveled across our state these past four years and heard firsthand from Coloradans that they want their leaders to deliver for them and not engage in divisive politics. I am committed to working with anyone to keep saving people money and save even more money on health care, make more historic investments in education, and build on our landmark efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy and bold climate action, together we have cut taxes for hardworking people, small businesses, and property owners and there is much more to do in the years ahead.”

From major fee relief to taxpayer rebates, to historic property tax relief, to bolstering Colorado’s early childhood education system and saving people money on health care, and making historic investments in infrastructure, Gov. Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera in partnership with the legislature, are delivering on their bold goals to ensure every Coloradan can thrive. In the weeks and months ahead, Coloradans can count on Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera to keep their focus on saving people money and health care reform, increasing housing options for every budget, and making Colorado one of the top ten safest states in the country.

This Fall, the Governor announced a Chief of Staff transition with Alec Garnett stepping into the role in January following the departure of the Governor’s longest-serving staff member, Chief of Staff Lisa Kaufmann.  Also this Fall, the Governor announced that current chief policy advisor and legislative council, Eve Lieberman will begin the role of Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade in January. Pat Meyers, who has led the office, will remain on the Governor’s team as the state’s Chief Recovery Officer. 

Today, the Governor announced that the majority of his senior staff members will return: 

  • Maria De Cambra will continue to be at the helm of the Governor’s Communications and Community Engagement as Director and previously served as the Westminster City Council’s mayor pro-tem and most recently as a senior associate at Hilltop Public Solutions. Maria has spent over a decade leading community organizing and public policy efforts.

  • Mark Honnen will continue to serve as the Lt. Governor’s Chief of Staff, a position he has held since 2021, having previously served as the Lt. Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

  • Cary Kennedy will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor and has deep policy and leadership experience having served as Colorado State Treasurer, Deputy Mayor, and Chief Financial Officer for the City of Denver.

  • Lauren Larson will continue to serve in the Governor’s cabinet and as a member of his senior staff as Executive Director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. Larson previously served in this role on Governor Hickenlooper’s staff and previously held the role of chief of the Treasury Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget for both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.  

  • David Oppenheim will serve as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislation, beginning on January 1. Oppenheim previously served as Director of Operations and Cabinet Affairs and Legislative Director. 

  • Danielle Oliveto will continue to serve as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff and previously held positions in then-Congressman Polis’s office, on his successful campaigns for Congress and with renewable energy and transit organizations. 

  • Niketa “Nikky” Patel is the Director of Boards and Commissions. Patel previously managed special projects on the Governor’s operations team; prior to these roles, Patel held private sector positions.   

  • Kara Veitch will remain the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel and previously served in the Governor’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Department of Personnel and Administration starting in 2019.