Beshear announces additional key appointments

UPDATED: Governor-elect Andy Beshear announced significant executive staff and cabinet appointments ahead of his swearing-in on Tuesday:

  • Office of the Governor, Chief of Staff La Tasha Buckner
  • Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Holly McCoy-Johnson
  • Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Secretary Mike Berry
  • State Budget Director John Hicks
  • Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chief of Staff Susan Rieber
  • Office of the Governor, Director of Legislative Services Dorsey Ridley
  • Finance and Administration Cabinet, Department of Revenue Commissioner Tom Miller
  • Secretary of the Justice Cabinet,  Justice Mary Noble
  • Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet, Kerry Harvey
  • Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, Gerina Wethers
  • Interim Secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, Larry Hayes
  • Secretary of the Labor Cabinet,  Larry Roberts
  • Secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Rebecca Goodman
  • Acting Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Eric Friedlander
  • Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor, Jonathan Smith
  • Commissioner of the Commonwealth Office of Technology, Ruth Day
  • Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, LaShana M. Harris

La Tasha Buckner was announced earlier in the week as Beshear’s General Counsel and will serve in an additional capacity as chief of staff. Buckner previously served in the Civil Branch of the Attorney General’s Office under Beshear.

Holly McCoy Johnson previously served as Beshear’s administrative services director in the Office of the Attorney General.

Mike Berry served as the president and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville for more than 20 years.

John Hicks was previously Kentucky’s deputy state budget director for a decade and held a variety of jobs dealing with state budgeting for over 32 years. He left his post as deputy state budget director in 2016 to take a position with the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) in Washington.

Susan Rieber served as director of scheduling and special projects for the Attorney General’s Office under Beshear. She also served as chief of staff to First Lady Jane Beshear.

Dorsey Ridley is a former state senator from Henderson, Ky., who served in the legislature from 2004-2018.

Tom Miller returns to the post of Department of Revenue commissioner after previously serving in the same role under former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

Justice Mary Noble was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2006 and served as Deputy Chief Justice during her time on the court. She retired from the court in 2016. Noble has also served as a circuit court judge and many justice-related boards and committees in Kentucky.

Kenny Harvey is a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and has previously served as General Counsel for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as well as its Acting Inspector General.

Gerina Whethers served as the executive director for the Office of the Attorney General’s Senior Protection and Medication. Whethers also served as the executive director of the Office of Victims Advocacy under Beshear.

Larry Hayes has previously served as secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development under Steve Beshear after serving in a duel role as Gov. Beshear’s executive cabinet secretary and interim secretary for the Cabinet for Economic Development. Hayes has also deputy mayor and secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet in the city of Louisville.

Larry Roberts served as Secretary of Labor under Governor Steve Beshear from 2013-2015. Roberts also worked in the Kentucky Labor Department for 29 years in various positions and served as the director for the division of employment standards, apprenticeships, and training.

Rebecca Goodman worked as executive director of the Attorney General’s Office of Rate Intervention over the last four years and has worked in the state’s Transportation Cabinet and as general counsel to the Kentucky Electric Generation and Transmission Siting Board. She has worked with the Public Service Commission (PSC) in different capacities.

Eric Friedlander currently serves as chief resilience officer for Louisville Metro Government under Mayor Greg Fischer and has, according to the Beshear administration, led and managed the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and has experience in budgetary, regulatory, contractual procurement, and personnel processes.

Jonathan Smith most recently served as deputy campaign manager for the Beshear/Coleman campaign and was previously the legislative director for Beshear as attorney general.

Ruth Day has been the vice president and chief financial officer for Ligon Nationwide in Madisonville, Kentucky and vice president of financial planning as well as executive vice president of administrative services for Landstar System, Inc. According to the Beshear administration, Day has 30 years of experience involving accounting, planning, budgeting, administrative processing, and systems analysis.

LaShana M. Harris has served as the executive director of the Office of the Inspector General for Regulated Child Care and became the Agency Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance officer for the Department of Juvenile Justice before being named director of program services for the department in 2019.

Stay tuned on The Bottom Line for more appointments by Governor-Elect Andy Beshear.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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