Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak announced six members of his senior staff on Monday, including longtime Democratic operative Michelle White as his chief of staff.
In addition to White, J. Brin Gibson will serve as general counsel, Scott Gilles as senior advisor, Allison Combs as policy director, Francisco Morales as public relations and community affairs director and Keith J.D. Hightower as legislative and intergovernmental affairs director. The announcement comes just one week before Sisolak officially takes over the reins from outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval on Jan. 7.
Sisolak previously announced that Susan Brown, acting deputy director of the budget division in the Governor’s Finance Office, would serve as his budget director.
“I am excited to be able to have such talented individuals as part of my administration,” Sisolak said in a statement. “The experience and skills these members will bring to this team cannot be matched and I am honored to have them by my side as we work to keep Nevada moving forward.”
White previously served as Nevada state director for For Our Future, deputy state director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and executive director of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus. Gibson most recently served as first assistant attorney general and chief of the gaming division in the attorney general’s office, where he has worked for the last four years.
Gilles is coming to the Sisolak administration from the city of Reno, where he has managed government affairs and legislative relations since February 2015, and previously served as the deputy secretary of state for elections. Combs has served as the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of public policy for the Nevada System of Higher Education for the last six years and previously spent 18 years in the Legislative Counsel Bureau research division, including eight years as chief principal research analyst.
Morales, a first-generation immigrant from an indigenous community in Mexico, most recently served as deputy transition director for Sisolak and political director for his gubernatorial campaign, previously working as a senior representative and advisor to Rep. Dina Titus and deputy political director for the Culinary Union. Hightower is Sandoval’s legislative director and was previously the assistant director of development and admissions at UNLV’s Boyd Law School.