CHICAGO – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today made six appointments to his executive cabinet. Today’s actions begin a series of appointments Governor Quinn will make over the first quarter of 2011 as he continues fulfilling his commitment to creating jobs, recovering our economy and making state government more efficient and accountable to the people of Illinois.
Today Governor Quinn re-appointed Director Rocco Claps to the Department of Human Rights, Director Brian Hamer to the Department of Revenue, Director Julie Hamos to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Secretary Gary Hannig to the Department of Transportation, Director Erwin McEwen to the Department of Children and Family Services and Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler to the Department of Human Services.
“I am proud to appoint these trusted members of my cabinet to continue their dedicated service to the people of Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “Over the course of my administration they have shown themselves to be unparalleled stewards of the public trust, and I look forward to their continued service.”
As Director of the Department of Human Rights, Rocco Claps has led efforts to establish civil unions, prevent sexual harassment on college campuses, reduce bullying in schools and increase gang prevention. Prior to his appointment to head the department, Claps served as deputy assessor for Cook County and held a number of positions within the administration of President Bill Clinton. He previously worked in the Illinois House of Representatives and is a graduate of Illinois State University.
Brian Hamer has led the Department of Revenue’s efforts to save Illinois millions of dollars by boosting electronic filing of tax returns as well as collecting tens of millions of dollars from gasoline tax evaders. He also administered the state’s 2010 tax amnesty program. He is a former deputy director of the Chicago Department of Revenue and previously served in Chicago’s corporation counsel office. Prior to his work in government, Hamer graduated from Yale University and earned a law degree from Columbia University, where he edited the school’s law review journal.
As Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Julie Hamos is leading the state’s implementation of national healthcare reform, and negotiated and led passage of Illinois’ historic Medicaid reform law. Hamos previously served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1999 to 2010, representing the 18th District. Prior to her election to the General Assembly, Hamos worked as the legislative counsel and policy advisor to then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley, before being appointed director of the Child Support Division, which oversees more than 300,000 child support cases each year. Hamos earned a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University and a law degree from George Washington University.
As Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Gary Hannig is leading implementation of Illinois Jobs Now!, the largest capital construction and job creation plan in Illinois’ history. Previously, Hannig served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1979 to 2009, representing the 98th district, eventually becoming Deputy Majority Leader. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accounting.
Prior to his appointment to head the Department of Children and Family Services, Erwin McEwen served as child welfare administrator at Lakeside Community Committee, where he oversaw four core child welfare programs. He has committed 20 years of service to youth and families in the Illinois social services community, serving at Kaleidoscope, DCFS, Hull House and Lakeside. McEwen has also served as a member of the Illinois Statewide Foster Parent Advisory Council, the Illinois Child Care Association Board of Directors, the Child Welfare Advisory Committee on Performance-Based Contracting, and the African American Family Commission's Monitoring and Oversight Committee.
Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler has led the Department of Human Services since October 2009, except during a time when she served as Governor Quinn’s Chief of Staff from August 2010 to December 2010. Saddler led implementation of the state’s nationally-recognized Put Illinois to Work program, which put more than 26,000 people to work throughout the state, giving them valuable job experience to ensure that they are competitive in the workforce. Her past positions include Vice President for International Adoptions for the Lifelink Corporation and Executive Director of the Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund. She also served as Director of Investments with then-Illinois State Treasurer Quinn and is a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Protestants for the Common Good.