On Jan. 23, the Governor officially announced several selections for his administration’s agency directors. Five appointments will be new to their position. As of now, the only appointment confirmed by the Senate is Natalie Finnie, the new Director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Finnie will be moving to this position from her previous role as Deputy Director, having served in that position since August 2021. Before she joined the DNR, Finnie was a State Representative.
The four positions not yet approved by the Senate are Raven DeVaughn as Director of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), Kristin Richards as the Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Ray Marchiori as the Temporary Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), and Brandon Ragle as the Temporary Secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT). DeVaughn is moving to this position from a current role of Assistant Director at the same agency. Richards is moving to her new position from her role as another agency’s Director. Meanwhile, both Marchiori and Ragle are advancing within the same department, much like Finnie and DeVaughn.
The Governor was recently asked by reporters about whether he would reappoint Marc Smith, the embattled head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In response, Pritzker said he planned to reappoint him, despite controversies surrounding the department, including the fact that courts have held Director Smith in contempt eight times for issues with placement of children.