Gov. Ricketts Announces Two Staff Transitions
LINCOLN – Today Governor Ricketts announced Jessica Flanagain, who has served him as a private advisor, is joining his office as Special Advisor to the Governor for External Affairs. Flanagain’s focus will include communications and strategic planning as well as coalition building.
“During the transition and over the last year, Jessica has managed my external advisory committees on agriculture, manufacturing, corrections, and health and human services, and I am excited to bring her into the office in an official capacity,” said Governor Ricketts. “I have known Jessica and worked with her in a variety of capacities over the last ten years. She brings a skill set and experience to the Governor’s office that complements my core team of advisors.”
Flanagain’s experience includes serving as an Aide for Special Projects for U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, Communications Director for Attorney General Don Stenberg, Campaign Manager for Jeff Fortenberry for U.S. Congress, Executive Director of the Nebraska Republican Party, advisor to Deb Fischer for U.S. Senate, and Pete Ricketts for Governor. For the last 10 years Flanagain has owned a consulting business with a diverse portfolio of corporate, non-profit, and political clients helping them identify goals and develop strategies to achieve communications and policy objectives.
Flanagain will start on December 28, 2015 and her salary will be $130,000.
Another personnel change will be the transition of Chief Operating Officer (COO) Felix Davidson from full-time to part-time. Davidson will continue to work with state government as a contract advisor on special projects.
Davidson’s role as COO, a new one to state government, focused on improving the interoperability of the state agencies and developing financial and operational metrics to measure agency performance. Davidson also led strategic initiatives aimed at operational excellence and process improvement.
Specifically Davidson helped the Department of Health and Human Services stabilize AccessNebraska operations, assisted the Department of Corrections in developing a strategy for automating prison sentence calculations, helped recruit key gubernatorial appointments such as the Chief Information Officer and the Director for the Department of Administrative Services.
“Felix has been key to helping change the culture of state government and identifying the ways in which we can run government more like a business,” said Governor Ricketts. “Felix represents the best of public service, first serving the United States as a Marine, and then served Nebraska with his business experience. I am so grateful for his work over the past year and look forward to working with him in the future.”