Jim Kenney’s Transition Team: A Who’s Who of Philadelphians

Dwight Evans, Alba Martinez, Otis Hackney, Jerry Sweeney and a whole lot more.

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney unveiled his transition team Thursday, and it’s chock full of bold-faced names.

Democratic State Rep. Dwight Evans and former human services commissioner Alba Martinez are the co-chairs. Also on the team? South Philadelphia High School principal Otis Hackney, Philadelphia NOW president Nina Ahmad, Philadelphia AFL-CIO president Pat Eiding, Local 98 counsel Tara Chupka, Temple Law School dean Joanne Epps, civil rights attorney David Rudovsky, Brandywine Realty Trust president Jerry Sweeney, and Public Citizens For Children and Youth chief Donna Cooper.

And there’s a whole lot more where that came from. Kenney’s transition team is 169 people deep. 169! That’s huge. Though we’re admittedly still poring over that massive list of names, Kenney’s transition team appears diverse in terms of race, gender and expertise. That’s notable because some in the political class have been quietly wondering if Kenney’s senior team in City Hall will be as diverse as his campaign has promised it would be. Kenney won May’s primary election on the strength of one of the broadest and most diverse coalitions in the city’s recent political history.

“Based on what I see here, it shows that what Jim has been saying about a commitment to diversity and inclusion is real,” said Mustafa Rashed, president of government relations firm Bellevue Strategies (and a Citified contributor). “And by diversity, I mean age, gender, affiliation, nationality, color and experience. There are heavy-hitter names, but there are also young up-and-comers here.”

To be sure, many Philadelphians will be watching Kenney’s hiring decisions closely.

Back to the size of this thing, though. Is a transition team with 169 people on it manageable? When I asked Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt that question, she replied: “The team is purposefully structured with co-chairs who each manage the various subcommittees. So our leadership team isn’t responsible for managing every single committee member, they’re only directly overseeing the steering committee and the subcommittee co-chairs. Additionally, members of these committees have a lot of experience leading large organizations, including transitions, and working in a team environment, so none of this is new to them.”

She added that many of the team members “have already demonstrated their complete commitment to building a strong, diverse and inclusive Kenney administration” through their work on Kenney’s policy team.

Here’s the full list of the transition team members:

Transition Committee Leadership
Rep. Dwight Evans, Transition Committee Co-Chair
Alba Martinez, Transition Committee Co-Chair
Jessie Bradley, Transition Director

Steering Committee
Estelle Richman
Greg Rost
Joseph Martz
Judee Von Seldeneck
Ken Trujillo
Pastor James Hall
Pat Eiding
Rodney Muhammad

Anne Gemmell, Co-Chair
Otis Hackney, Co-Chair
Harriet Dichter
Hillary Linardopolous
Jurate Krokys
Natalie Catin-St. Louis
Quibila Divine
Rhonda Lauer
Sharon Easterling
Sharon Nielson
Susan Gobreski

Commerce and Economic Development
Nina Ahmad, Co-Chair
Tara Chupka, Co-Chair
Andy Toy
Anthony Gallagher
Anuj Gupta
Della Clark
James Cuorato
Julia Meyers
Laurie Kavulich
Paul Levy
Renee Gillinger
Ryan Boyer
Shalimar Thomas
Stephen Tang
Steven Bradley
Varsovia Fernandez

Public Safety
Dr. Branville Bard, Co-Chair
Maureen Rush, Co-Chair
Joanne Epps, Co-Chair
Allison Sprague
Bill Bergman
Bill Peebles
Bob Ballentine
Bryan Lentz
David Rudovsky
Dorothy Johnson Speight
Ed Marks
Ellen Kaplan
Emily Bittenbender
Erika Almiron
James Dollard
Joseph Evers
Paul Messing
Pedro Ramos
Reuben Jones
Sara Jacobson
Tom Nestel

City Administrative Services
Cynthia Figueroa, Co-Chair
Mike Nadol, Co-Chair
Nolan Atkinson, Co-Chair
Pedro Rodriguez , Co-Chair
Brigitte Daniel
Charles Gibbs
Clay Armbister
Craig R. Carnaroli
Dean Kaplan
James Muller
Jocelyn Hill
Joyce Wilkerson
Judge Ida Chen
Lauren Vidas
Lou Rulli
Lynda Orfanelli
Mike Marsico
Nancy Kammerdeiner
Stewart Weintraub
Tim Thornton

Community, Culture, and Recreation
Beth Devine, Co-Chair
Julie Hawkins, Co-Chair
Nicole Allen White, Co-Chair
Anne O’Callahan
Carmen Febo
Carol Lawrence
Gail Harrity
Janet Haas
John Chin
Lou Borda
Vik Dewan

Environment and Sustainability
David Masur, Chair
Chris Lewis
Dianne Herrin
Dr. Poune Saberi
E. Mitchell Swann
Emily Schapira
Jamie Gauthier
Kenneth Lande
Liz Robinson
Maitreyi Roy
Matthew Stepp
Maura McCarthy

Housing, Planning, and Development
Anne Fadullin, Co-Chair
Beth McConnell, Co-Chair
Andy Rachlin
Charles Lomax
Gaetano Picarelli
Jerry Sweeney
Herb Wetzel
Kelly Ganaczarz
Kimberly Lloyd
Maisha Jackson
Maria Gonzalez
Rich DeMarco
Rick Sauer
Wadud Ahmad

Human Services
Donna Cooper, Co-Chair
Marla Gold, Co-Chair
Roberta Trombetta, Co-Chair
Bonnie Carmada
Jane Shull
Joanna Otero Cruz
John Lynch
Karin Annerhed-Harris
Natalie Levkovich
Nilda Ruiz
Numa St. Louis
Richard Cohen
Sandy Sheller
Sister Mary Scullion
Susan Kretsge

Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs
Marwan Kreidie, Co-Chair
Peter Gonzales, Co-Chair
Brad Baldia
Cathryn Miller-Wilson
Christian Dunbar
Christopher Chaplin
Diego Tapia
Jasmine Rivera
Judith Bernstein-Baker
Kay Kyungsun Yu
LeQuyen Vu
Margaret O’Sullivan
Rev. Adan Mairena
Rich Gitlen
Rob Buscher
Sokmala Chy
Sundrop Carter
Thoai Nguyen
Voffee Jabateh
Will Gonzalez
Yocasta Lora
Jim Duran

Infrastructure and Transportation
Joseph Syrnick, Co-Chair
Matthew Tharakan, Co-Chair
Anita Davidson
Beverly Coleman
Fran Kelley
Joseph Casey
Lou Rodriguez
Mike Liberi
Rhett Workman
Sarah Clarke Stuart

DNC Preparation
Julie Coker Graham, Chair
Jeff Guaracino
John McNichol
Michael Barnes
Michael Pearson
Sara Lomax Reese