There are more changes in a reshuffling of the governor’s office staff, including the departure of former state legislator Michael Christ.
The changes are being made following the announced departure of Roy Occhiogrosso, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s senior adviser and a constant presence in the office for the past two years. Malloy said he worked virtually every day with Occhiogrosso over the past six years, dating back to his 2006 Democratic primary loss against New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.
Christ, a former East Hartford legislator, won his first race for the legislature in 1994 and served there until joining the Malloy administration. He served for years in the East Hartford delegation with Christopher Stone and Melody A. Currey, who later became mayor and then motor vehicles commissioner under Malloy. A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, he served as an assistant majority leader before becoming a deputy majority leader.
Christ, 51, is headed to United Healthcare, the insurance giant.
The internal staff memo from Chief of Staff Mark Ojakian, obtained by Capitol Watch, is as follows:
“As you’re aware, the Governor’s office is in the process of restructuring our staff as we head in to 2013. In addition to the Governor’s announcement this week that Roy Occhiogrosso will depart as Senior Advisor, I want to share with you some other changes that will take place this month.
“First, Mike Christ has accepted a position with United Healthcare Services as Vice President of State Government Affairs. For the past two years Mike has worked tirelessly as an integral part of the Governor’s legislative team. We thank Mike for everything he’s done and wish him the best in this exciting new phase of his career.
“And second, as part of our office’s restructuring we will now have a Government Affairs team that will work with the legislature and local elected officials.
“We are pleased to announce:
- Paul Mounds, Director of Government Affairs. Paul currently serves in the Governor’s office as Senior Policy Analyst, where he has led the charge on critical issues relating to transportation, energy and economic development. Paul has previously worked as Deputy State Director for Outreach for Senator Richard Blumenthal and as Communications Director for Congressman John Larson.
- Chris Smith, Senior Associate for Government Affairs. Chris is joining our team from Rome Smith & Lutz, Government Relations where he’s worked with businesses, nonprofits and trade associations on a variety of issues including education, environment, energy, public health, and more.
- Erin Smith, Associate for Government Affairs. Erin will join the Governor’s office from the Board of Regents for Higher Education, where she is responsible for a wide range of government relations activities, including developing new policy initiatives and working with the General Assembly on their passage. Erin has also served as a Legislative Aide to State Senator Carlo Leone, and as a Research and Policy Associate for the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund.
We look forward to working with you during the upcoming legislative session. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions and concerns.