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Josh Shapiro taps ex-lawmakers, university officials for Cabinet

  • Marc Levy/The Associated Press
The Harrisburg state capitol building on Jan. 3, 2023.

 Jeremy Long / WITF

The Harrisburg state capitol building on Jan. 3, 2023.

Two just-retired state lawmakers will help fill out the Cabinet of the incoming Democratic governor, Josh Shapiro, who also said Thursday that he will pluck a pair of nominees from the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University who each held senior federal government posts.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

FILE – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, speaks after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his budget address for the 2022-23 fiscal year on Feb. 8, 2022. 

Former Republican Sen. Pat Browne of Lehigh County will lead the Department of Revenue and former Democratic Rep. Mike Carroll of Lackawanna County will lead the Department of Transportation, Shapiro said.

Browne, a certified public accountant, chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee for the past eight years before he was defeated in last May’s primary election. All told, Browne, 59, spent 28 years in the Legislature.

Carroll, 60, served 16 years in the state House, spending the last four as the minority chair of the Transportation Committee. He chose not to run for reelection last year.

To head up the Department of Community and Economic Development, Shapiro chose Rick Siger, who has deep experience in trying to expand the nation’s robotics and advanced manufacturing industries.

Siger, 43, is currently chief of staff and senior adviser to the president at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Previously, Siger served in President Barack Obama’s administration, including as chief of staff at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and deputy chief of staff at the Department of Commerce.

Sarah Hammer will lead Shapiro’s Department of Banking and Securities, bringing expertise in the emerging industries of cryptocurrency and blockchain, as well as investment banking and cybersecurity.

Hammer, 49, is currently managing director of the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a senior fellow of the Harris Alternative Investments Program there. She teaches law and has a law degree from the university.

Before that, Hammer worked for various investment banks and financial institutions, including Vanguard, and serves in senior positions in the U.S. Treasury Department during both the Obama and Trump administrations.

All four are subject to confirmation in the Republican-controlled Senate once they are nominated. Shapiro, the state’s two-term elected attorney general, will be inaugurated Tuesday to become the 48th governor of Pennsylvania.

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