AUGUSTA — Gov.-elect Janet Mills has formed an executive search committee and said she wants to have all the members of her Cabinet in place when she takes office in January.
The search team of 14 people, effectively Mills’ transition team, includes several high-profile politicians and business people from across the state, including former state Senate President Justin Alfond, former Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree and Portland City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau, all Democrats like Mills.
It also includes her brother, Peter Mills, executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority and a Republican who served in the Legislature and ran for governor in 2010.
“I have asked this committee to search for experienced and qualified individuals who are leaders of character, honesty and integrity and people who share my vision of leading Maine in a new and better direction,” Mills said during a brief news conference.
Mills said she asked the committee to do its work without consideration to party affiliation.
“Whether a person is Democrat, an independent, a Republican, a Green Party member does not matter to me,” Mills said. “What matters to me is the administration has the best and the brightest minds, the most capable people to lead state government in this new era.”
She said she hoped to have top-level administration posts filled by January, including commissioners for the state government departments who would make up her Cabinet “so that the new government can hit the ground running.”
Mills also said those interested in serving in her administration could submit a resume online at www.JanetMills.com.
Members of the search committee include:
• David Flanagan, a trustee of the Harold Alfond Foundation, who has also served as the president of the University of Southern Maine and CEO of Central Maine Power Co. Flanagan ran as an independent candidate for governor in 2002.
• Peter Mills, executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority and a former state lawmaker.
• Dawn Hill, a Democratic state senator who has served on the Legislature’s Judiciary, Appropriations, Energy, Criminal Justice, and Government Oversight committees.
• Lizzy Reinholt, senior director of corporate affairs for Summit Utilities. Reinholt also served as communications director for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s 2014 campaign for governor and held the same job with the Maine Democratic Party.
• Peter DelGreco, president and CEO of Maine & Co., a privately funded business attraction and economic development organization that helps companies establish successful operations in Maine.
• Jim Clair, owner of several small businesses who also worked for 18 years at the State House, including as executive director of the Legislative Council and director of the Office of Fiscal and Program Review.
• Laurie Lachance, president of Thomas College. Lachance also served as state economist for three governors including a Democrat, an independent and a Republican.
• Lois Skillings, the president and CEO of Mid Coast-Parkview Health since 2011.
• Alec Maybarduk, executive director of the Maine State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1989.
• Barbara Hayslett, who currently serves as a regional representative for U.S. Sen. Angus King.
• Barbara Trafton, a former state senator from Auburn and an educator with teaching experience in public and private schools and board service for both the Muskie School and Mitchell Institute.
• Spencer Thibodeau, a member of the Portland City Council for District 2.
Governor-elect Janet Mills announces her executive search committee during a news conference Thursday at the Cross State Office Building in Augusta. Staff photo by Joe Phelan