CHICAGO – June 3, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced several top appointments to state agencies. Today’s actions are the latest in a series of appointments the Governor is making as he continues to fulfill his commitment to creating jobs, fostering economic development and increasing efficiency and accountability in all areas of state government.
Governor Quinn today named Jay Rowell as director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Rowell is a former deputy director in the Chicago City Clerk’s Office, where he modernized operations and dramatically enhanced transparency by making 27 years of searchable city information available online. He holds a juris doctorate from Loyola University Law School, and is a former writer for the school’s Consumer Law Review and Public Interest Law Reporter. Rowell replaces Maureen O’Donnell, who now serves as Director of Human Resources for Cook County. His appointment takes effect Monday.
The Governor also announced that Department of Insurance Chief Deputy Director Jack Messmore will serve as the agency’s Acting Director. Messmore steps into the role following the departure of Michael McRaith, who will become the first director of the United States Federal Insurance Office. Messmore has been with the agency for 25 years and has previously served as Deputy Director, Assistant Deputy Director and Examiner-in-Charge. He holds an accounting degree from Eastern Illinois University and is an active member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Messmore’s appointment takes effect Monday.
Grace Hou was also re-appointed as Assistant Secretary for Programs at the Department of Human Services (DHS), a position she has held since 2003. Prior to joining DHS, Hou was the Executive Director of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, a nonprofit social service agency that serves Chinese immigrants and refugees. Hou has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.