Colyer Makes Sweeping Changes in First Week

Today Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer replaced four Cabinet secretaries and made changes to his staff.  Colyer was just sworn in to the office on Wednesday, replacing Governor Sam Brownback who resigned to take an ambassadorship with the Trump Administration.  Colyer was the Lieutenant Governor under Brownback since 2010.

Some of the more notable changes include making Olathe’s Larry Campbell the Chief Budget Officer and the departure of Nick Jordan from the Commerce division.  Campbell also serves as the K-12 budget chair.  In the wake of the data breach related to the Secretary of State’s website, Phil Whitmer has resigned from the Office of Information Technology.  He is being replaced on an interim basis by Donna Shellite who takes over as the Chief Information Technology officer.  

Other notable changes were made within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment including former Budget Director Shawn Sullivan taking over as the Chief Operating Officer for KDHE.  In that role Sullivan will handle things like Medicaid eligibility.



This is a look at more changes being made.  This was pulled directly from the Governor’s press release.  Note that positions with a * next to them were made previous to today’s announcement.


Jeff Anderson will serve as Acting Secretary after the departure of Susan Mosier*

Jon Hamdorf will serve as Medicaid Director. He had served as interim Medicaid Director since the departure of Michael Randol.

Greg Lakin has been named Chief Medical Officer.*

John Mitchell, Director of Environment, is leaving the agency

Leo Henning will serve as the Interim Director of Environment



Acting Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel has replaced former Secretary Phyllis Gilmore*

Kathe Decker will replace former Chief of Staff, Jeff Kahrs

Susan Gile is now serving as Deputy Secretary for Family Services

David Kurt is now serving as East Regional Director

Patricia Long will serve as Prevention and Protection Services Director



Interim Secretary Nick Jordan will depart the agency

Bob North will serve as Interim Secretary

Stan Alrech, Executive Director of Workforce and Innovation is leaving the agency

Diane DeBacker is now Executive Director for Business and Education Innovation*


Senior Staff

Karla Werth joins the Governor’s office as Director of Constituent Services. Karla previously served in that role for the Graves Administration.

Kendall Marr, who joined Colyer’s office as Communications Director in September, will now serve as Chief Communications Officer. In the new role, Marr will take on increased

responsibilities in coordinating and managing state agency communications staff.

Daniel Seitz will serve as Communications and Policy Specialist and Mike P. Tiufekchiev will serve as Communications and Digital Media Specialist.

Andrew Wiens will serve as Chief Policy Officer. He replaced Brandon Smith.

David Soffer also will join the governor’s office as special assistant to the governor.

Peter Barstad will join as policy analyst.

Mary Sabatini has been brought on as assistant to the chief of staff.

Governor’s Office Senior Staff

Jon Hummell-Chief of Staff

Shawn Sullivan–Chief Operating Officer

Brant Laue-Chief Counsel

Andrew Wiens-Chief Policy Officer

Tim Shallenburger-Legislative Affairs Director

Kendall Marr-Chief Communications Officer

Kara Fulmer-Press Secretary

Clay Barker-Special Assistant to the Governor

Karla Werth-Director of Constituent Services