Shortlist of Candidates for Common Council Chief of Staff Position

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 11:12am

Final Interviews to take place November 3rd

Common Council President Marsha Rummel is pleased to announce that the field of candidates for the Common Council Chief of Staff position has been narrowed to four finalists. Alders and subject matter experts undertook a thorough and rigorous review of the applicants.

The finalists are:

  • Jim Bohl, Milwaukee WI
    Mr. Bohl is currently serving as a Council Member for the City of Milwaukee (since 2000) and a Commissioner on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (since 2014). Prior to these positions, he worked as an English/Math teacher for the Milwaukee Public School District and as a Congressional Aide to former U.S. Representative Tom Barrett. Mr. Bohl obtained a Master of Arts Degree in History from Marquette University in 1996 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science (minor) from Marquette University in 1993. He is currently enrolled in the Public Administration Certification Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Melanie Conklin, Madison WI
    Ms. Conklin is currently employed as the District Outreach and External Relations Coordinator for U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, where she has been since 2015. Prior to that position, Ms. Conklin has previously worked as the Managing Director of Brand for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Communications Director and Social Media/External Relations Director for Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Communications Director for the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee and State Rep. Peter Barca, Press Secretary for Tom Barrett for WI Governor, Mayoral Assistant to former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, and as a reporter for Isthmus Publishing and the Wisconsin State Journal. Ms. Conklin obtained a Master’s Degree in Communication and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Hispanic Studies in 1988 from St. Olaf College (Minnesota).
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  • Astra Iheukumere, Madison WI
    Ms. Iheukumere is currently employed as the Assistant Director for Community Networks and National Partnership with UW-Madison Population Health Institute where she has been since 2014. Prior to that position, Ms. Iheukumere worked as a Mayoral Assistant to Mayor Paul Soglin, Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Medicaid Benefit and Fiscal Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Ms. Iheukumere obtained a Master in Business Administration Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013, a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1997 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Kwasi Obeng, Chicago IL
    Mr. Obeng is currently employed as a Chief Performance Analyst with the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General where he has have been since 2014. Prior to that position, Mr. Obeng worked as a Senior Performance Auditor for the City of Atlanta Auditor’s Office, a Social Services Administrator (Richmond County) for the State of Georgia Department of Family and Children Services and interned at the Department of Public Affairs (Somalia Desk) at the United Nations. Mr. Obeng has obtained a PhD in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University (Georgia) in 2012, a Master of Arts in Psychology from Argosy/Georgia School for Professional Psychology in 2003 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human and Organizational Development and Psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1999.

Council President Rummel stated, "The four finalists embody a thorough knowledge, skill set and passion for public service and demonstrate the ability to engage with policy makers, staff and community members. I am pleased with the slate of candidates that have been put forward for final review by the Executive Committee."

The Common Council Executive Committee will meet, in closed session, to interview the four candidates on Friday, November 3, 2017 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.

In the interview and evaluation of the candidates, the Common Council Executive Committee will be guided by the following criteria for the post:

  • Strategic management of the Council Office and staff, including developing staff and program level strategies, setting priorities, problem solving and providing leadership to ensure optimal support for Alders in the execution of Alder initiatives and responsibilities.
  • Expert consultation and support in the analysis of City policy and providing assistance to individual Alders in navigating City legislative and administrative processes and procedures.
  • Build relationships and serve as a communication and policy liaison between the Common Council Office, the Mayor's Office, City managers and staff, and the public.

The new Common Council Chief of Staff will be announced shortly after the November 3, 2017 interviews, along with an anticipated starting date.

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Tags: 
Chief of Staff, Common Council, Interview, Finalist