Governor-Elect Scott Announces First Senior Staff Appointments
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor-elect Phil Scott today announced the first four appointments to his senior staff.
Scott will appoint longtime aide Rachel Feldman as Senior Director of Boards, Commissions and Public Service. Brittney Wilson will be appointed to the Constitutional Office of Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs. Kendal Smith will serve as Director of Policy Development and Legislative Affairs. Finally, Scott has selected Jason Gibbs to serve as his Chief of Staff.
“Each of these individuals share my vision for a modern and efficient state government that makes the economy and affordability its top priorities,” Governor-elect Scott said. “They are focused and disciplined public servants who will work incredibly hard on behalf of the people of Vermont as we implement our pro-growth agenda and invest in the future of our state.”
Governor-elect Scott will appoint additional staff members in the coming weeks, including a Communications Director, special assistants in key policy areas and a Legal Counsel. Salaries for all new executive office employees are still to be determined but will not exceed the budget currently appropriated for that office.
About Rachel Feldman, Senior Director of Boards, Commissions & Public Service
Rachel Feldman, 33, graduated from River Hill High School in Columbia, Md., and in 2006 received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She promptly moved to Vermont, where she’d spent summers as a camper at Farm & Wilderness in Plymouth. Feldman worked as a reporter and copy editor for the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, a reporter for MTV News, and a producer, reporter and anchor for WCAX-TV. In 2011, she was awarded a year-long fellowship teaching English in elementary and middle schools in Ramla, Israel. While in that post, she was appointed as the program’s liaison to the Prime Minister’s Office. Upon her return, she served as the Web and Communications Director for the Vermont Arts Council before joining Lt. Governor Phil Scott’s office as Chief of Staff in 2013. Feldman lives in Montpelier with her partner and their four-legged friend.
About Brittney Wilson, Secretary of Civil & Military Affairs
Brittney Wilson, 30, grew up in Danville, graduated from Danville High School and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Small Business Administration from Western New England College. In 2008, straight out of college, Wilson served as Field Coordinator on Governor Jim Douglas’ reelection campaign. She went on to serve in various posts in state government, including being appointed to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the State Auditor’s Office and most recently the Department of Libraries. In October of 2015, Wilson became the first full-time staff member to join Governor-elect Phil Scott’s gubernatorial campaign, where she served as the Campaign Coordinator and Spokeswoman. Wilson lives in Groton with her husband, their 3-year-old son and two yellow labs.
About Kendal Smith, Director of Policy Development & Legislative Affairs
Kendal Smith, 29, most recently advocated on behalf of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce membership to further policies that address the needs of Vermont employers. Smith also served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Futures Project, a think-tank promoting the long-term economic health of Vermont. Previously, she worked on Lt. Governor Brian Dubie’s campaign for governor and later on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s 2011 re-election campaign. She went on to serve in his administration, focusing on state board and commission membership before returning to her native Vermont. Smith is a graduate of American University with a degree in international studies. She and her husband live in Barre and are busy chasing around their toddler.
About Jason Gibbs, Chief of Staff
Early in his career, Jason Gibbs, 40, worked for Bechtel Corporation and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority as Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, the nation’s most complex public works project. He later served as a public relations coordinator for Fletcher Allen Health Care. For more than eight years, Gibbs was a senior advisor to Governor Jim Douglas, serving as Communications Director, Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs and as the Governor’s liaison to state agencies, municipalities, the Vermont Emergency Operations Center, the National Governors Association, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors and the Council of State Governments. As Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Jason managed legislative, legal, regulatory and contractual operations of the enterprise. After running for Secretary of State in 2010, Gibbs worked for the Vermont Ski Areas Association where, among other projects, he helped to bring Porter Airlines to Burlington International Airport. In 2012, Gibbs launched a successful strategic communication and project management business. Gibbs is a graduate of Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has served on a variety of community and non-profit boards and is currently a member of the Waterbury-Duxbury Board of School Directors, the Community High School of Vermont advisory board, and the Washington West Supervisory Union executive committee. An avid outdoorsman, Gibbs lives in Waterbury with his wife and their daughter.